Welcome to USCIRF

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

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., and Senior Policy Analyst Tiffany Lynch, speak at a St. Mary's Law School event on USCIRF's report "Barriers to Protection: The Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Expedited Removal," San Antonio, Texas, January 19, 2017.

  • USCIRF delegation meets with Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights Leila Bahaa Al-Din during a visit to Egypt, January 18, 2017. Click here to see more photos from the Egypt visit.

  • USCIRF held an event at the National Press Club titled "Burma at the Brink: Religious Freedom Violations Threaten its Future." At the event, USCIRF released two reports highlighting religious freedom conditions in Burma, December 13, 2016. Watch the event here

  • From left to right: Daniel Mark (USCIRF Vice Chairman), Clifford D. May (USCIRF Commissioner), Thomas J. Reese, S.J. (USCIRF Chair), Greg Mitchell (IRF Roundtable), and John Ruskay (USCIRF Commissioner) at the International Religious Freedom Roundtable on December 13, 2016.

  • USCIRF Commissioners meet with Jan Figel, Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion of belief outside the European Union, October 7, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. (center) and Commissioners Kristina Arriaga and Jackie Wolcott meet with Rebiya Kadeer and Omer Kanat of the World Uyghur Congress, October 14, 2016.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga spoke with EWTN Nightly News about religious freedom conditions in Sudan, September 27, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga speaks at a Hudson Institute event on "Religious Freedom in Vietnam: Its Importance for Regional and Global Security," September 12, 2016. Watch the event

  • Commissioner Jackie Wolcott at the 68th Jalsa Salana Ahmadiyya convention in Harrisburg, PA, July 30, 2016

    USCIRF Commissioner Jackie Wolcott speaks at the 68th Jalsa Salana Ahmadiyya convention in Harrisburg, PA, July 30, 2016. Watch her speech here

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.

USCIRF Issues Reports on Religious Freedom Violations in Burma

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released two reports highlighting Burma’s serious religious freedom challenges:

Barriers to Protection

USCIRF on August 2, 2016 released a new report, Barriers to Protection: The Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Expedited Removal, which highlights serious problems with the U.S. government's treatment of asylum seekers in Expedited Removal. View the report here. USCIRF presented findings from the report at an August 3, 2016 event with Human Rights First. Watch the event here

Report cover of Barriers to Protection

IRAN: USCIRF Condemns Religious Freedom Violations against Baha’is


December 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The UN General Assembly on December 19 passed its 14th consecutive resolution which included a condemnation of the Iranian government’s actions against the Baha’i community, underscoring the persecution and discrimination members of this peaceful religious community have faced for decades.

EGYPT: USCIRF Condemns Terrorist Attack at Coptic Cathedral; Urges Protection for Community and End to Impunity

December 15, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns the brutal attack at Cairo’s main Coptic Orthodox Cathedral.  Twenty-four worshippers were killed and 49 wounded: many of those murdered were women and children. USCIRF sends condolences to the family and friends of the victims and wishes those wounded a speedy recovery. 

PAKISTAN: USCIRF Condemns Egregious Treatment of Ahmadis

December 9, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns the raid by Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on the publications and audit offices of the Ahmadiyya community in Punjab province.  During this raid, which took place on December 5, police beat and arrested several Ahmadis who later were charged under provisions in Pakistan’s penal code and Anti-Terrorism Act.   


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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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