(JTA) – President Donald Trump named Gary Bauer, the Washington director of Christians United for Israel, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The commission is an independent body that tracks religious freedoms overseas. In a tweet Bauer, a veteran of top Education Department posts in the Reagan administration, said his “focus” in the post “will be on the growing persecution of Christians and the rising tide of anti-Semitic hatred around the world. Muslim majority nations are biggest culprits.”
Commissioners are chosen by the president and congressional leaders of both parties for their experience, which may include specialization in defending a particular faith, but they are expected to address the range of allegations of persecution. JTA asked Bauer if he would also focus on allegations of the persecution of Muslims, for instance in China and Burma. “The commission has nine members, and I am sure persecution of Muslims will be the focus or main priority of some of them,” he told JTA. “I have spoken out against all religious persecution, but my focus will be Christian persecution and antisemitism.” Christians United for Israel has become a pro-Israel lobbying force in Washington, D.C., and state capitals, with its politics skewing to the right.
CAP: Gary Bauer