WASHINGTON (RNS) — As former religious freedom ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook stood before a class of black theological students, one raised his hand to ask her if it had been challenging to work with atheists and agnostics.

“It’s not about what I believe or what I think you should believe,” responded Johnson Cook, the first African-American and clergyperson in the State Department post. “It’s about you have the right to believe or not believe.”


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