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

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at a hearing on Blasphemy Laws, July 14, 2016. Read his testimony here.

  • USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst, Tina Mufford, speaking at the Falun Gong rally on Capitol Hill, July 14, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Commissioners with the Archons of Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church, July 12, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga speaking at the International Christian Concern conference, July 2016.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Jackie Wolcott (center) meets with representatives from Vietnam's religious communities during Vietnam Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, June 22, 2016.

  • USCIRF Vice Chair Dr. Daniel Mark speaks at the 7th Annual Coptic Solidarity Conference on the Future of Egypt's Religious Minorities, June 9, 2016.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga meets with Cuban religious freedom and human rights activist Dr. Óscar Elías Biscet and his wife Elsa Morejón, June 9, 2016

  • Elizabeth Cassidy, USCIRF Co-Director for Policy and Research, speaks at a Senate Human Rights Caucus event on "The Impact of Blasphemy Laws Abroad," May 26, 2016

  • Pakistan Textbook Report

    USCIRF on April 12, 2016 published a new study of Pakistani public school textbooks, which reach over 41 million children. The study found, "Teaching Intolerance in Pakistan: Religious Bias in Public School Textbooks," found that these textbooks negatively portray religious minorities and signal that these minorities are untrustworthy and inferior. Read the report.


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.

Europe at a Crossroad

USCIRF held an event on April 11, 2016 at the National Press Club entitled "Europe at a Crossroad: Civil Society Efforts to Combat Religious Hatred and Bigotry in Europe." The event featured a keynote address by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a panel of European civil society leaders, and remarks by USCIRF Commissioners. 

Teaching Intolerance in Pakistan

A new study of Pakistani public school textbooks found that these textbooks negatively portray religious minorities and teach bias, distrust, and inferiority. The study was sponsored by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and was conducted by the Pakistan-based NGO Peace and Education Foundation (PEF). See below USCIRF's launch event of the report. 

India: USCIRF Not Issued Visas

March 3, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The Indian government today failed to issue visas to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in time for a long planned trip to India. The goal of the Commission’s trip was to discuss and assess religious freedom conditions in that nation.

Bangladesh: Action Needed as USCIRF Marks Anniversary of Avijit Roy’s Murder

February 25, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) solemnly marks the one-year anniversary on February 26 of the brutal murder of Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-American secular blogger.  Attackers wielding machetes killed Roy after he left a book fair during a visit to Dhaka.  His wife, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, survived the attack with serious wounds.

Pakistan: USCIRF Calls for the Immediate Release of Abdul Shakoor and the Dropping of all Charges

February 1, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns the arrest, detention, and sentencing of Abul Shakoor, an 80-year-old optician, for propagating the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith, which is banned in Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia Executes Prominent Shi’a Cleric


January 5, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns the execution on January 2 of a prominent Shi’a cleric in Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a vocal government critic and an activist for democratic reforms in the Kingdom, was a staunch advocate of equal rights for the Shi’a Muslim population in Saudi Arabia.  Sheikh al-Nimr, whose case USCIRF has reported on in recent years, was among the 47 men executed that day.


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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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