What's New at USCIRF
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
USCIRF's 2014 Annual Report
USCIRF Issues its 2014 Annual Report: 15th Anniversary Retrospective: Renewing the Commitment
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal advisory body the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) created to monitor religious freedom abuses abroad, released its 2014 Annual Report, and recommended that the State Department add eight more nations to its list of “countries of particular concern,” defined under law as countries where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.
USCIRF also recommended that the following eight countries be re-designated as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.
Nigeria will hold presidential, federal parliamentary, and state parliamentary elections on March 28, 2015. The election previously was scheduled for February 14, 2015, but was pushed back due to security concerns in the north-east region of the country. Reports of pre-election violence, combined with rising societal and political tensions, increase the likelihood of religiously-motivated violence around the elections.
In February 2015, USCIRF issued a press release, USCIRF Warns of Potential Religiously-Motivated Violence Around Nigeria’s Upcoming Elections. From the press release:
“Every effort needs to be undertaken to ensure... Read More
The Religious Violence Project
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has launched the Religious Violence Project to highlight violations of religious freedom abroad. Learn more here.
August 2014 Factsheet: Violence Towards Religious Communities in Pakistan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2014 | USCIRF
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today commemorates International Religious Freedom Day, marking the 16th anniversary of the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2014 | USCIRF
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns the life sentence handed down to respected Uighur Muslim scholar Ilham Tohti for “separatism.” The conditions of his detention and trial as well as his sentence clearly violate international law and call into question China’s claim to be a country based on the rule of law.
USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett testified on September 18 before the National Security Subcommittee of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee at a hearing entitled "Protecting International Religious Freedom."
From the testimony:
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…