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

  • USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George. Message from the chair.

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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, 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. 

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

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

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USCIRF 2016 Annual Report

The 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. 
 

USCIRF Supports The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 2078)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)  supports the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 2078).  USCIRF, which is set to sunset on September 30, 2015, urges both the Senate and House to swiftly pass the bill.

IRAN: USCIRF Marks Three-Year Anniversary of Saeed Abedini’s Imprisonment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 22, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) marks the three-year anniversary of the imprisonment in Iran of Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor. Since September 26, 2012, Pastor Abedini has been jailed unjustly, allegedly for “threatening the national security of Iran.”

CHINA: USCIRF Calls on the Release of Ilham Tohti and other Prisoners of Conscience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 22, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) solemnly marks the one-year anniversary of the life sentence handed down to Chinese Uighur Muslim scholar Ilham Tohti for “separatism.”  USCIRF calls on the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release him and seven of his students who also were sentenced after a separate and secret trial.  

BURMA: USCIRF Condemns Passage of Religious Conversion Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 24, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns the passage by Burma’s Union Parliament of the religious conversion bill.  This bill is one measure in a package of “race and religion bills” which a group of nationalist Buddhist monks have advanced.  Each discriminates against and restricts the religious freedom of non-Buddhists, particularly Muslims, and diminishes women’s rights. 

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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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