• USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George. Message from the chair.

  • USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst, Catherine Cosman, speaks at a Freedom House panel on the human rights crisis in Tajikistan, December 16, 2015.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Fr. Tom Reese with Sr. Denise Coghlan, Jesuit Refugee Service Cambodia Director, and Katrine Camilleri, JRS Malta Director, accompanied by USCIRF Policy Analyst Tina Mufford, December 7, 2015

  • Sahar Chaudhry, Senior Policy Analyst, at a Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission briefing on Human Rights in Bangladesh with the Commission’s Co-Chair Representative Jim McGovern, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, writer and activist and widow of Avijit Roy, and other panelists. December 1, 2015

  • USCIRF Commissioner Katrina Lantos Swett speaks with Yevgeniy Zhovtis, Board Chairman of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights And Rule of Law, after a USCIRF Capitol Hill briefing on human rights in Kazakhstan, November 20, 2015.

  • Dwight Bashir, USCIRF Acting Co-Director for Policy and Research, speaks at a Capitol Hill event titled "Bahrain's Stalled Path to Reform," November 16, 2015.

  • USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at a hearing tititled "Human Rights in Egypt." November 3, 2015. Watch the hearing here

  • Commissioner Katrina Lantos Swett delivered the Distinguished Speaker Keynote at Rumi Forum 2015 Peace and Dialogue Awards Ceremony, October 27, 2015. 

  • USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George testified before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee at a hearing titled "The Global Crisis of Religious Freedom," October 27, 2015. Watch the hearing here

  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres (middle), joined USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George (right) and Vice Chair Eric P. Schwartz (left) for a conversation on "The Global Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis", October 27, 2015. Watch the event here.

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

"A Global Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis"

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres joined USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George and Vice Chair Eric P. Schwartz at the National Press Club to discuss the unprecedented Syrian displacement and humanitarian crisis and how the U.S. government, international partners, and faith communities can respond.

Spotlight

A new study of textbooks used in Turkey's compulsory "Religious Culture and Moral Knowledge" class found both improvements and issues of concern. USCIRF sponsored this study, which was conducted by Ziya Meral, a Turkish expert and 2010 USCIRF Crapa Fellow

 

 

See more USCIRF spotlights here.

Turkey: Reopen Halki Seminary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 24, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) calls on the Turkish government to reopen the Greek Orthodox Theological School of Halki, which was closed 44 years ago this month when the government nationalized all private institutions of higher learning.

BURMA: USCIRF Calls for the Protection of Religious and Ethnic Minorities During Post-Election Period and Beyond

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 13, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) calls on the government of Burma to protect religious and ethnic minorities during the post-election period and beyond.  Although Election Day largely was peaceful, the underlying electoral process was deeply flawed given the disturbing interjection of religion, the 25 percent reservation for the military of unelected seats, and the disenfranchisement of Rohingya Muslims. 

Tajikistan: USCIRF Criticizes Crackdown on Religious Freedom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today criticized the Tajik government’s ongoing efforts to control religious activities, especially those of the country’s majority Muslim population. These efforts include the recent ban of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) due to allegations of extremism, the arrest of some 200 IRPT activists, and the alleged torture and other human rights abuses committed against IRPT detainees. 

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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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