After weeks of planning, HAF and other Hindu community leaders formally met for an hour with Sam Brownback, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. HAF first began engaging with Ambassador Brownback in his previous role as Governor of Kansas during the aftermath of last year’s tragic hate-killing of Srinivas Kuchibotla.
The purpose of this meeting was to initiate an ongoing dialogue between the broader Hindu American community and Amb. Brownback on international issues of concern, such as religious freedom, human rights, and terrorism that impact Hindus in India, South Asia, and other parts of the world.
After meeting with Ambassador Brownback, HAF and community leaders met with representatives of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom to address community concerns about USCIRF’s special report on India, released in 2017, as well as HAF criticism of that report. Present at the meeting were three USCIRF staff (in person) as well as two USCIRF commissioners (via teleconference) — Father Thomas Reese, who was chair of USCIRF during the release of the special report, and Clifford May.