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.
What's New at USCIRF
USCIRF 2016 Annual Report
The 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.
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.
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:
- Hidden Plight: Christian Minorities in Burma highlights the pervasive and longstanding persecution and discrimination Christians face that have persisted, often unreported, for generations. View the report here in English and Burmese.
- Suspended in Time: The Ongoing Persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Burma details the persecution of Rohingya Muslims resulting from government-directed abuses and/or government indifference to discrimination and violence that has killed hundreds, displaced thousands, and destroyed hundreds of religious properties since 2012. View the report here in English and Burmese.
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.
WASHINGTON, DC – At the recommendation of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Dr. Tenzin Dorjee was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on December 8, 2016.
WASHINGTON, DC – With the passing of Fidel Castro on November 25, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) urges the Cuban government to take a long hard look at his legacy, especially with regard to the oppressive treatment of religion which has marked the country’s history since Castro's rise to power in 1959.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As coalition forces begin the liberation of Mosul, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) notes that November 13 is the one-year anniversary of the liberation of Sinjar from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2016
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…