Evangelical author and religious freedom champion Johnnie Moore, a Newsmax contributor, is reportedly in the running to become the No. 1 State Department official responsible for promulgating religious freedom around the globe.
Moore was mentioned by ForeignPolicy.com on Thursday as a “rumored candidate” to become the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
The Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom leads the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, which promotes international religious liberty as a core element of U.S. foreign policy.
U.S. foreign policy expert Richard Grenell, the longest serving U.S. spokesperson at the United Nations ever, praised Moore’s contributions to the cause of global religious freedom on Friday.
“There are very few people who have Johnnie Moore’s real life experiences of fighting for religious liberties and freedoms from the front line,” Grenell said. “Johnnie is uniquely qualified and would transform the role by bringing desperately needed practical experience to the State Department’s programs.”
Also believed to be in the running for the post is Nina Shea, a lawyer with the Hudson Institute think tank. The front-runner is thought to be Ken Starr, the former Baylor University president who is best known perhaps for investigating former President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s.
Moore, the author of “Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard,” was a persistent critic of the State Department’s record on religious liberty during the previous administration.
Former President Barack Obama’s State Department came under intense scrutiny for being slow to respond to the rise of ISIS, even as Christianity became the world’s most persecuted faith.
When the Obama State Department initially declined to grant a visa to an Iraqi nun testifying before Congress, Moore led a campaign to pressure the department into granting the visa. It eventually relented and did so.