Obama nominates rabbi to be religious freedom ambassador

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has nominated Rabbi David Saperstein to be the next U.S. Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom.

The 66-year-old Saperstein, an activist in the liberal Reform branch of Judaism, is expected to win Senate confirmation to the post that's been vacant since the resignation of Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook last October.

Secretary of State John Kerry introduced Saperstein while releasing the State Department's annual survey of religious persecution around the world. Kerry said the rabbi "is joining an important effort at a very important time."

Saperstein would be the first non-Christian to occupy the diplomatic post since its creation in 1998.

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