• Click here to read past Annual Reports.

  • USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett. Message from the chair.

  • USCIRF staff met with, from left to right: Dasko Shirwani (Director of Outreach, Kurdistan Regional Government), Vian Dakhil Shekh Saeed (Member of the Iraq Council of Representatives), and Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman (Representative, Kurdistan Regional Government), April 21, 2015.

  • Commissioner Eric P. Schwartz meets with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, Sri Lanka, March 16, 2015. Read Commissioner Schwartz statement on his trip to Sri Lanka here.

  • Commissioners Jasser, Glendon, and Reese meet with Syriac Christian leadership, including Bassam Ishak, President of the Syriac National Council of Syria, March 19, 2015. 

  • Knox Thames, USCIRF Policy and Research Director, at the launch of the Brazilian Congress caucus on international religious freedom in Brasilia, March 17, 2015. 

  • Elizabeth Cassidy, USCIRF Deputy Director for Policy & Research, discusses the status of religious minorities in Iraq at a briefing titled "The State of Iraq's Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul," March 12, 2015.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Rev. Thomas J. Reese (center right) met with Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald (center), the former Apostolic Nuncio in Egypt and President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from 2002-2006.  The meeting was hosted by the Africa Faith and Justice Network. March 6, 2015.

  • USCIRF Commissioners and Staff meet with a Vietnamese delegation concerning religious freedom conditions in Vietnam. March 3, 2015.

Defending Freedoms Project

In December 2012, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and Amnesty International USA, launched the Defending Freedoms Project with the aim of supporting human rights and religious freedom throughout the world with a particular focus on prisoners of conscience.

Specifically, Members of Congress “adopt” prisoners of conscience, standing in solidarity with these brave men and women, while committing to advocate publicly for their release.

Click the interactive map below to view the status of prisoners of conscience highlighted in the Defending Freedoms Project

USCIRF's 2014 Annual Report

USCIRF Issues its 2014 Annual Report15th Anniversary Retrospective:  Renewing the Commitment

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal advisory body the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) created to monitor religious freedom abuses abroad, released its 2014 Annual Report, and recommended that the State Department add eight more nations to its list of “countries of particular concern,” defined under law as countries where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam

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

 

 

Spotlight

Nigeria will hold presidential, federal parliamentary, and state parliamentary elections on March 28, 2015. The election previously was scheduled for February 14, 2015, but was pushed back due to security concerns in the north-east region of the country. Reports of pre-election violence, combined with rising societal and political tensions, increase the likelihood of religiously-motivated violence around the elections.

In February 2015, USCIRF issued a press release, USCIRF Warns of Potential Religiously-Motivated Violence Around Nigeria’s Upcoming Elections.  From the press release:

“Every effort needs to be undertaken to ensure... Read More

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The Religious Violence Project

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has launched the Religious Violence Project to highlight violations of religious freedom abroad. Learn more here

August 2014 Factsheet: Violence Towards Religious Communities in Pakistan

USCIRF Staff Perspectives

USCIRF Commemorates the Centennial Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today solemnly marks the 100 year anniversary of the tragic killing of over one million Armenians in what is now modern-day Turkey. USCIRF recognizes the profound significance of this day and the deep wounds it continues to evoke for the Armenian people, and the other religious and ethnic communities who were victims of the horrible events of 1915.

The Holocaust: Beyond Remembrance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 14, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 15 is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, an international day commemorating the six million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany and her allies.  It is a solemn day of remembrance, recalling those who suffered and died and those who fought against this evil.  

Iran: Deteriorating Conditions for Religious Freedom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 18, 2015 | USCIRF

Washington, D.C. – As the Iranian government prepares to respond on March 19 to recommendations made during the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) calls attention to deteriorating conditions for freedom of religion and belief in Iran.  

USCIRF Decries Church Attacks in Pakistan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, March 15, the day an official U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) delegation to Pakistan departed the country, Pakistani Taliban terrorists attacked two churches in Lahore during worship services.  At least 15 people were killed and over 80 wounded.  The funerals will be held today.  The attack follows other assaults on Shi’a mosques and meeting places.

Statement on USCIRF Visit to Sri Lanka

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2015 | USCIRF

Statement of Commissioner Eric P. Schwartz upon completing a visit to Sri Lanka, March 15-17, 2015

I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka with USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst Sahar Chaudhry to assess the climate for religious freedom, other human rights, and tolerance since the country’s 2015 election.

Syria: Four Years Later

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 16, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. — March 15 marked the 4th anniversary of the protests in Damascus, Aleppo and Daraa which set the stage for the Syrian conflict.  On this sad anniversary, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) remembers the millions of Syrians who have suffered.  USCIRF also notes that Syria’s history of religious diversity may be lost and all of Syria’s religious communities are largely deprived of religious freedom.

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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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