• USCIRF Chair Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. Welcome to USCIRF

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at a hearing on Blasphemy Laws, July 14, 2016. Read his testimony here.

  • USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst, Tina Mufford, speaking at the Falun Gong rally on Capitol Hill, July 14, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Commissioners with the Archons of Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church, July 12, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga speaking at the International Christian Concern conference, July 2016.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Jackie Wolcott (center) meets with representatives from Vietnam's religious communities during Vietnam Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, June 22, 2016.

  • USCIRF Vice Chair Dr. Daniel Mark speaks at the 7th Annual Coptic Solidarity Conference on the Future of Egypt's Religious Minorities, June 9, 2016.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga meets with Cuban religious freedom and human rights activist Dr. Óscar Elías Biscet and his wife Elsa Morejón, June 9, 2016

  • Elizabeth Cassidy, USCIRF Co-Director for Policy and Research, speaks at a Senate Human Rights Caucus event on "The Impact of Blasphemy Laws Abroad," May 26, 2016

  • Pakistan Textbook Report

    USCIRF on April 12, 2016 published a new study of Pakistani public school textbooks, which reach over 41 million children. The study found, "Teaching Intolerance in Pakistan: Religious Bias in Public School Textbooks," found that these textbooks negatively portray religious minorities and signal that these minorities are untrustworthy and inferior. Read the report.

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USCIRF 2016 Annual Report

United States Commission on International Religious FreedomThe U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2016 Annual Report on May 2, 2016. In the report, USCIRF recommends that the State Department add these eight countries to its list of “countries of particular concern,” defined under law as countries where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated: Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, and Vietnam.

USCIRF also recommends that the following nine countries be re-designated as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

In addition, USCIRF also recommends ten countries as Tier 2 Countries, those countries whose governments engages in or tolerates at least one of the elements of the "systematic, ongoing, and egregious" standard, but do not fully meet the CPC standard: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Russia, and Turkey. Other Countries Monitored include: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Horn of Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Western Europe.

Europe at a Crossroad

USCIRF held an event on April 11, 2016 at the National Press Club entitled "Europe at a Crossroad: Civil Society Efforts to Combat Religious Hatred and Bigotry in Europe." The event featured a keynote address by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a panel of European civil society leaders, and remarks by USCIRF Commissioners. 

Teaching Intolerance in Pakistan

A new study of Pakistani public school textbooks found that these textbooks negatively portray religious minorities and teach bias, distrust, and inferiority. The study was sponsored by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and was conducted by the Pakistan-based NGO Peace and Education Foundation (PEF). See below USCIRF's launch event of the report. 
 

Testimony of USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., on "Blasphemy Laws and Censorship by States and Non-State Actors

USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. testified on July 15, 2016 before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at a hearing titled "Blasphemy Laws and Censorhip by States and Non-State Actors: Examining Global Threats to Freedom of Expression."

From the testimony:

CHINA: USCIRF Condemns the Government’s Ramadan Restrictions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2016
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Muslims around the world mark the end of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr celebrations, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns the Chinese government’s restrictions on Uighur and other Muslims’ religious practices.  These restrictions are particularly egregious during this month-long period of introspection, fasting, prayer, and devotion.

Testimony of former USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George and former USCIRF Vice Chair Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser on the Global Religious Freedom Crisis

Former USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George and former Vice Chair Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser testified on June 16, 2016 before the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing titled "The Global Religious Freedom Crisis and Its Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy."

Read former Chairman George's full testimony before the Subcommittee.

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About the Commission

Who We Are

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.

What We're About

Inherent in religious freedom is the right to think as we please, believe or not believe as our conscience leads, and live out our beliefs openly, peacefully, and without fear.

We are about freedom

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