• Click here to read the 2015 Annual Report.

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

  • Dwight Bashir, Deputy Director of Policy & Research, met with Bahraini cleric Maytham Al Salman to discuss civil society coalitions, May 27, 2015.

  • USCIRF Chair Katrina Lantos Swett and Annette Lantos with Monir Khanjani and Bijan Masumian, family members of seven Baha’i leaders imprisoned in Iran, May 14, 2015.

  • USCIRF Chair Katrina Lantos Swett spoke at the Newseum Institute on April 16, 2015 at an event titled "Religious Freedom & Foreign Policy." Watch the event here. (Photo: Maria Bryk/Newseum)

  • USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett with Rebiya Kadeer, President of the World Uyghur Congress, at the Opening Ceremony of the Uyghur Youth Training Seminar, May 6, 2015.  

  • USCIRF Policy Analyst Tina Mufford with Khmer Krom Buddhist monks, April 23, 2015

  • Knox Thames, USCIRF Policy and Research Director, with U.S. military chaplains and Brian Grim at the “Religion Matters” conference at U.S. Southern Command, April 22, 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.

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

Spotlight

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2015 Annual Report on April 30, 2015. 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 eight countries be re-designated as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs: Burma,... Read More

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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.

USCIRF Condemns Abduction of more than 200 Assyrian Christians and Urges Their Immediate Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 27, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns the abduction of more than 200 Assyrian Christians by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northeastern Syria and calls for the international community to work for their immediate release.

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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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