By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter lauded President Barack Obama’s nomination of Rabbi David Saperstein as the next Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Since 1974, Saperstein has served as the director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. He is a widely-respected expert on First Amendment law and specifically the relationship between church and state.
The Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom heads the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, which has the mission of promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy.
“Rabbi Saperstein has been a colleague and leader for many causes and cases that have shaped the face of religious expression, religious liberty and constitutional direction,” Paynter said. “I look forward to his leadership in this new position.”
Saperstein previously served on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2010 to 2011. He was also a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious freedom from 1991 to 2001, and served as the commission’s first chair from 1999 to 2000. Saperstein is a graduate of Cornell University (B.A.), Hebrew Union College (M.H.L.) and American University (J.D.).
CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.