Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council (FRC), has said that the rise in Christian persecution worldwide in recent years can be blamed on the "misplaced priorities" of the State Department under outgoing President Barack Obama.
In an interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday, Perkins pointed to the 2017 World Watch List released by Open Doors USA, which stated that the persecution of Christians abroad has increased for the third year in a row.
He claimed that the Obama State Department's policies of promoting abortion and the LGBT movement in other countries had a negative impact on religious freedom worldwide.
Perkins criticized the State Department for funding efforts to legalize abortion in some African countries. He also pointed out that the Obama administration has tied foreign assistance funds to a government's willingness to embrace the LGBT movement.
He said that the State Department's promotion of the Left's sexual agenda has become systematically ingrained that a new secretary of state might not be able to change the culture in the State Department.
Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, served on the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America when it moved to allow openly gay scout leaders.
"[Tillerson] has not addressed that as to why he didn't stand up and defend the Boy Scouts. I am just concerned that whoever comes into the State Department has to have the track record and the courage to be a change agent to return the State Department to the statutorily stated goals of the State Department," Perkins told The Christian Post.
"We know that Christians are suffering globally as a result of our State Department's misplaced priorities. That cannot continue. It's going to require a leader who is willing to be criticized, who is willing to be a change agent. I just don't know that is him," he continued.
During a Senate subcommittee hearing in March 2015, Perkins stated that the Obama administration's limitations on religious freedoms in the U.S. had an impact on religious freedoms abroad. He argued that the administration's persecution of Christians in the country emboldened the attacks against Christians across the globe.
Perkins also claimed that the Obama administration has done very little to help Christians who were victimized by radical Islamic militants.