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Evangelical Leader Notes Wide Support for International Religious Freedom Ambassador as State Department Releases IRF Report Today

Contact: Mrs. Peggy Nienaber, 202-236-0953


WASHINGTON, May 20, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Reverend Dr. Rob Schenck, president of the Washington, DC based National Clergy Council and chairman of the Evangelical Church Alliance International, will be present at the State Department today when Secretary of State John Kerry and US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, the Reverend Dr. Suzan D. Johnson-Cook, releases her department's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2012.


Rev. Schenck said, "The constituencies I represent are very much looking forward to the report by Ambassador Johnson-Cook. Since she assumed her post, we have seen the largest numbers and widest spectrum of evangelical leaders and groups enthusiastically support the Office of International Religious Freedom. We're very pleased with the work of Ambassador Johnson-Cook and commend the White House for its selection of her. Many of us in the evangelical community feel more is being done now by the Office of International Religious Freedom than at any time since its creation by the Congress in 1998. This office is one of a very few in this administration where evangelicals are overwhelmingly supportive and fully engaged. We say bravo and God bless you to Ambassador Johnson-Cook."


Rev. Schenck expressed concern for the plight of US pastor Saeed Abedini who was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran for his Christian humanitarian work there. Rev. Schenck has urged Secretary of State Kerry to utilize the broad coalition that Ambassador Johnson-Cook has built to advocate for Abedini's release, as well as for the release of other similar victims of religious persecution in Iran and in other countries.


Rev. Schenck continued, "I have asked tens of thousands of my constituents to pray for Ambassador Johnson-Cook and to continue their support of her good work which is unprecedented in any presidential administration."


Rev. Rob Schenck (pronounced "Shank") will be available for comment before and after the briefing and can be reached on site through Mrs. Peggy Nienaber at 202-236-0953.




Rev. Rob Schenck observer at presentation on the state of International Religious Freedom by US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan D. Johnson-Cook Monday, May 20, 2013, 11:30 AM ET United States Department of State Press Office Room 2109