• 2016 Annual Report

    On May 2, 2016, USCIRF publicly released its 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report documents religious freedom conditions in over 30 countries. 

  • Joseph Pitts, David Saperstein, Frank Wolf, Robert P. George, James McGovern

    USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George testified on April 19, 2016 before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) on “Confronting the Genocide of Religious Minorities: A Way Forward.” Pictured from left to right: TLHRC Co-Chairman Rep. Joseph Pitts, Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein, Former Representative Frank Wolf, USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George, and TLHRC Co-Chairman Rep. James McGovern

  • 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.

  • Katrina Lantos Swett and panelists

    USCIRF Commissioner Katrina Lantos Swett and panelists taking questions at USCIRF's event "Teaching Intolerance in Pakistan," April 12, 2016. Watch the event.

  • Robert P. George and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

    USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks speaking at the USCIRF event "Civil Society Efforts to Counter Religious Hatred and Bigotry in Europe," April 11, 2016. Watch the event

  • Robert P. George and Katrina Lantos Swett

    USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George and Commissioner Katrina Lantos Swett speak at the 4th Annual International Religious Freedom Event on Capitol Hill, March 22, 2016. 

  • Dwight Bashir speaks at a Senate Human Rights Caucus event

    Dwight Bashir, USCIRF Co-Director for Policy and Research, speaks at a Senate Human Rights Caucus event titled "Countering Extremism in Predominantly Muslim Countries," March 17, 2016. 

  • Thomas J. Reese and staff , Ambassador Andrew Bennett

    USCIRF Commissioner Thomas J. Reese and staff met with Ambassador Andrew Bennett, the Canadian Ambassador for Religious Freedom, February 22, 2016. 

  • Katrina Lantos Swett spoke at the Asia Pacific Religious Freedom Forum

    USCIRF Commissioner Katrina Lantos Swett spoke at the Asia Pacific Religious Freedom Forum (APRFF) in Taiwan, February 18, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett speaks at a European Parliament event on religious freedom, Brussels, June 3, 2015.

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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. 
 

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. 

Testimony of USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George on "The Crisis of International Religious Freedom"

USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George testified on October 27, 2015 before Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing titled "The Global Crisis of Religious Freedom,"

Read Testimony before the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Subcommittee Of the House Foreign Affairs Committee On The Global Crisis of Religious Freedom & Its Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy

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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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