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

  • 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 Commissioners meet with the Honorable David Saperstein, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. January 16, 2015. 

  • USCIRF Chair Katrina Lantos Swett, Commissioner Mary Ann Glendon, and Executive Director Jackie Wolcott with parliamentarians at the launch of the International Parliamentary Coalition to Advance Religious Freedom, November 8, 2014, Oslo. 

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

USCIRF on Release of International Religious Freedom Report and Nomination of Ambassador-at-Large

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2014 | USCIRF

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of State yesterday released its 2013 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom and made designations of “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) for particularly severe violations of religious freedom.  The White House also announced their nominee for the position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Rabbi David Saperstein.

China Criticized for Banning Ramadan Fast

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2014 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, DC – As Muslims around the world observe the holy month of Ramadan, Uighur Muslims in China face far-reaching restrictions on their religious practices.  The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) urges the Chinese government to end such actions, including bans on fasting and other religious observances during Ramadan in China’s autonomous region of Xinjiang, a Uighur Muslim-majority area. 

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett Elected USCIRF Chair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2014 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, was elected on July 1, 2014 as Chair of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).  Dr. Swett was first appointed to the Commission in March 2012 by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and reappointed in April 2014. 

Sudan: Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Detained Again

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2014 | USCIRF

The U.S. Commission on  International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is gravely concerned about the Sudanese government’s arrest of Meriam Ibrahim Ishag on document fraud charges and her being held with her family at a Khartoum police station following their June 24 detention at Khartoum’s airport as they sought to leave the country. USCIRF calls on the Sudanese government to release them immediately and has lodged a strong protest with the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C.

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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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