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

  • USCIRF staff met with, from left to right: Dasko Shirwani (Director of Outreach, Kurdistan Regional Government), Vian Dakhil Shekh Saeed (Member of the Iraq Council of Representatives), and Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman (Representative, Kurdistan Regional Government), April 21, 2015.

  • Commissioner Eric P. Schwartz meets with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, Sri Lanka, March 16, 2015. Read Commissioner Schwartz statement on his trip to Sri Lanka here.

  • Commissioners Jasser, Glendon, and Reese meet with Syriac Christian leadership, including Bassam Ishak, President of the Syriac National Council of Syria, March 19, 2015. 

  • Knox Thames, USCIRF Policy and Research Director, at the launch of the Brazilian Congress caucus on international religious freedom in Brasilia, March 17, 2015. 

  • Elizabeth Cassidy, USCIRF Deputy Director for Policy & Research, discusses the status of religious minorities in Iraq at a briefing titled "The State of Iraq's Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul," March 12, 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.

  • USCIRF Commissioners and Staff meet with a Vietnamese delegation concerning religious freedom conditions in Vietnam. March 3, 2015.

  • Executive Director Jackie Wolcott and Director of Policy and Research Knox Thames meet with Volker Kauder of the German Bundestag, Berlin, February 5, 2015.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Hannah Rosenthal speaks at the 10th Anniversary Commemorative Event of the 2004 OSCE Berlin Meeting on anti-Semitism attended by Ambassador Power and U.S. NGOs, November 14, 2014, Berlin.

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 Report15th 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

 

 

Spotlight

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

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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

USCIRF Staff Perspectives

China: USCIRF Condemns Harsh Sentence for Ilham Tohti

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.

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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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