Welcome to USCIRF

  • USCIRF released a new report on July 17, 2017 titled Women and Religious Freedom: Synergies and Opportunities. While a common misperception persists that women’s rights to equality and freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) are clashing rights, the two are actually indivisible and interrelated, the new report finds.

  • USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark spoke at the annual 7/20 Falun Gong rally on Capitol Hill, July 20, 2017. Click here to read his remarks

  • USCIRF Executive Director Erin Singshinsuk spoke at the 69th annual Jalsa Salana Ahmadiyya Muslim conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 15, 2017. Photo courtesty of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA . 

  • USCIRF Vice Chairs Arriaga and Jolley meet with Baroness Elizabeth Berridge and others at the British Parliament to discuss religious freedom and women’s rights, July 2017. Click here to see USCIRF's new report on the synergies and opportunities between women's rights and religious freedom.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Tenzin Dorjee testified on July 12, 2017 before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on "Tibet: Religious Freedom." Click here to read his testimony. Click here to watch the hearing. Pictured: Commissioner Dorjee holds up a photo of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima – The Panchen Lama. Commissioner Dorjee is advocating on behalf of the Panchen Lama as part of USCIRF's Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project

  • USCIRF Vice Chair Sandra Jolley and Commissioners Tenzin Dorjee and Jackie Wolcott meet with Arjia Rinpoche to discuss religious freedom for Tibetan Buddhists in China, July 11, 2017. 

  • USCIRF released a new report on June 1, 2017 titled : Wilting in the Kurdish Sun: The Hopes and Fears of Religious Minorities in Northern Iraq. Click here to read the report

  • On July 6, USCIRF Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga (right) and Commissioner Jackie Wolcott (left) met with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa of Tibet (center) to discuss religious freedom for Tibetan Buddhists in China.

  • On June 30, USCIRF Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga (3rd from left) and Commissioner Jackie Wolcott (back row to the right of the flag) met with a Vietnamese Delegation from Boat People SOS to discuss religious freedom and the treatment of religious minorities in Vietnam.

  • Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga and Commissioner Jackie Wolcott meet with Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, to discuss areas of mutual interests, June 22, 2017

What's New at USCIRF

Commissioner Clifford D. May speaking in support of Saudi prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi.

Commissioner Clifford D. May: Saudi Vision 2030’s aspirations are laudable. Saudi Arabia should become a tolerant and moderate country, but that means accepting some debate and even dissent. That transformation needs to begin now. Releasing Badawi would represent a meaningful step forward. read more

USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark speaking at the 2017 Annual 7/20 Falun Gong rally on Capitol Hill.

USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark gave the following remarks at the 2017 Annual 7/20 Falun Gong rally on Capitol Hill on July 20, 2017. read more

USCIRF Commissioners with UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed (bottom, second from left), April 2017.

USCIRF strongly condemns the verbal and online attacks against UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed read more

Commissioner Thomas J. Reese, S.J. speaks in support of Eritrean Patriarch Abune Antonios

Commissioner Thomas J. Reese, S.J.: I implore the Eritrean government to do the right thing: Release Patriarch Antonios. Allow him to take his duly elected position as the head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church and let the Eritrean people exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief. read more
USCIRF denounces the Russian Supreme Court ruling on Monday rejecting an appeal by the Jehovah’s Witnesses against an April decision declaring them as extremist. read more

Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project

USCIRF's Religious Prisoner of Conscience Project highlights individuals imprisoned for exercising their freedom of religion or belief, as well as the dedicated advocacy of USCIRF Commissioners working for their release. Please click the photos below for more information on the prisoners, and the Commissioners' efforts on their behalfs.
Featured Religious Prisoner:

USCIRF Commissioner Jackie Wolcott: “As long as [Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh] remains in prison and as long as authorities unfairly treat his family, I will publicly and privately raise their case so that one day soon they may be reunited in safety and be able to practice their faith freely.”

Click here for information on Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh and Tran Thi Hong and religious freedom conditions in Vietnam.

Click here to watch the launch of the Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project. 

USCIRF Religious Prisoners of Conscience



Prisoner of Conscience List

Click here for USCIRF's Prisoner of Conscience List which is mandated by Public Law 114-281, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act.

2017 Annual Report

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2017 Annual Report on April 25, 2017.

In the report, USCIRF recommends that the State Department continue to designate the following ten countries as “countries of particular concern,” defined under law as countries where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated: BurmaChinaEritreaIranNorth KoreaSaudi ArabiaSudanTajikistanTurkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

USCIRF also finds that six other countries meet the CPC standard and should be so designated: Central African RepublicNigeriaPakistanRussiaSyria, and Vietnam.

Wilting in the Kurdish Sun

USCIRF on June 1, 2017 released a report titled Wilting in the Kurdish Sun: The Hopes and Fears of Religious Minorities in Iraq. This groundbreaking report is the first independent report of its kind to involve in-person interviews with representatives of almost all the religious minority groups in the KRI.

The report notes that "the KRI remains far more welcoming and tolerant to minorities that its regional neighbors" and expresses hope that special effort will be taken to "preserve [the] freedoms and rights" of minorities.

Click here to read the report.

IRAN: USCIRF Condemns Religious Freedom Violations against Baha’is


December 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The UN General Assembly on December 19 passed its 14th consecutive resolution which included a condemnation of the Iranian government’s actions against the Baha’i community, underscoring the persecution and discrimination members of this peaceful religious community have faced for decades.

EGYPT: USCIRF Condemns Terrorist Attack at Coptic Cathedral; Urges Protection for Community and End to Impunity

December 15, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns the brutal attack at Cairo’s main Coptic Orthodox Cathedral.  Twenty-four worshippers were killed and 49 wounded: many of those murdered were women and children. USCIRF sends condolences to the family and friends of the victims and wishes those wounded a speedy recovery. 

PAKISTAN: USCIRF Condemns Egregious Treatment of Ahmadis

December 9, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns the raid by Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on the publications and audit offices of the Ahmadiyya community in Punjab province.  During this raid, which took place on December 5, police beat and arrested several Ahmadis who later were charged under provisions in Pakistan’s penal code and Anti-Terrorism Act.   

CUBA: After Fidel Castro

December 2, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – With the passing of Fidel Castro on November 25, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) urges the Cuban government to take a long hard look at his legacy, especially with regard to the oppressive treatment of religion which has marked the country’s history since Castro's rise to power in 1959. 


Subscribe to United States Commission on International Religious Freedom RSS

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

Tools & Resources