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New Custodian of the Holy Land

May 20, 2016. Friar Francesco Patton is the new Custodian of the Holy Land. He succeeds Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who was in office for the last 12 years. Friar Francesco Patton is 52 years old from Vigo Meano (Italy). He graduated in Communication Sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome and until now was the provincial minister of the Order of Friars Minor in Saint Vigilius of Trent.

Rabbi David Saperstein, nominated as new U.S Ambassador for international religious freedom

2014-07-29

Sixty six year old, Rabbi David Saperstein has been nominated as the next U.S ambassador -at large-for international religious freedom. If approved by the Senate, he would be the first non-Christian to hold the post since it was created back in 1998. 

Part of his responsibilities, would include monitoring religious freedom abuses around the world. It's an issue that's highly relevant in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, where religious persecution has given way to many conflicts.   Domestically, in the U.S, the Affordable Care Act and its contraception mandate has triggered heated debates on religious freedom. 

Saperstein lives in Washington and is a lawyer. He was named the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek magazine in 2009. For 40 years he has led the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The previous ambassador was African American pastor Suzan Johnson Cook, who resigned from the position in October 2013. 


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