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Trump’s Faith-Based Office Still Empty

Among the vacant administration positions waiting to be filled is one was supposed to be a high priority for President Trump — the office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

The office, established under George Bush in 2001, serves as a bridge between the White House and faith communities and as a way of involving religious groups in government activity. For a president like Trump, elected with massive support of evangelical Christians and raising hopes for greater involvement of the group in setting the agenda, keeping the office vacant does not seem to make sense.

And as Religious News Service reports, there is no clear sign when Trump plans to staff the office, or who he will select to direct it. Trump has, however, made many overtures to the evangelical community, according to the report, including holding high level meetings that “began or ended in prayer,” said Johnnie Moore who served on Trump’s evangelical advisory board during the campaign. “Many evangelicals feel like the administration has an open-door policy,” Moore observed.

The office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is not the only religious outreach channel still unstaffed. The State Department has yet to appoint a new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom and the White House has not announced who will serve as its liaison to the Jewish community.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com

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