Will Trump's State Department push religious freedom to center stage? - 2019-01-09
When Mr. Trump nominated Brownback, some were skeptical that he would work for religious freedom for all. A man of faith who was raised Methodist but converted to Catholicism in 2002, he had a conservative track record – including stands against abortion and gay marriage – that concerned Democrats and activists. He squeaked through his Senate confirmation 50-49.
Greg Mitchell, co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, says that skepticism is softening. The group started with just a few dozen people meeting bimonthly. But with Brownback's support, Mr. Mitchell says, it now hosts weekly events with around 100 participants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists.
"They see that he really is advocating for religious freedom for everyone," says Mitchell, a lobbyist for the Church of Scientology, noting that Brownback visited Rohingya Muslims on his first trip.