By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)-- Legislation to help protect persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East has been stalled in the Senate, according to International Christian Concern.
Senators Mike Lee and Tom Coburn have put a hold on the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2013 (S. 653), thereby stopping the legislative process. Both senators said the proposed bill duplicates the duties of the current Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
If passed into law, the Religious Freedom Act would have created a special envoy to protect religious minorities living in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The special envoy would have been responsible for promoting the rights of religious minorities and recommending any appropriate responses if those rights are violated.
After leaving the position vacant after his 2009 inauguration, President Obama appointed Suzanne Johnson Cook as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, but Cook suddenly resigned the position late last year.