Welcome to USCIRF

  • USCIRF Chair Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. Welcome to USCIRF

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. (center) and Commissioners Kristina Arriaga and Jackie Wolcott meet with Rebiya Kadeer and Omer Kanat of the World Uyghur Congress, October 14, 2016.

  • USCIRF Commissioners meet with Jan Figel, Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion of belief outside the European Union, October 7, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga spoke with EWTN Nightly News about religious freedom conditions in Sudan, September 27, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga speaks at a Hudson Institute event on "Religious Freedom in Vietnam: Its Importance for Regional and Global Security," September 12, 2016. Watch the event

  • USCIRF's Tiffany Lynch and Elizabeth Cassidy present findings from USCIRF's new report, Barriers to Protection: The Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Expedited Removal, at an event with Human Rights First, August 3, 2016. Watch the event here

  • Commissioner Jackie Wolcott at the 68th Jalsa Salana Ahmadiyya convention in Harrisburg, PA, July 30, 2016

    USCIRF Commissioner Jackie Wolcott speaks at the 68th Jalsa Salana Ahmadiyya convention in Harrisburg, PA, July 30, 2016. Watch her speech here

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at a hearing on Blasphemy Laws, July 14, 2016. Read his testimony here.

  • USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst, Tina Mufford, speaking at the Falun Gong rally on Capitol Hill, July 14, 2016. 

  • USCIRF Commissioners with the Archons of Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church, July 12, 2016. 

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.

Barriers to Protection

USCIRF on August 2, 2016 released a new report, Barriers to Protection: The Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Expedited Removal, which highlights serious problems with the U.S. government's treatment of asylum seekers in Expedited Removal. View the report here. USCIRF presented findings from the report at an August 3, 2016 event with Human Rights First. Watch the event here

Report cover of Barriers to Protection

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. 

Saudi Arabia Executes Prominent Shi’a Cleric


January 5, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns the execution on January 2 of a prominent Shi’a cleric in Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a vocal government critic and an activist for democratic reforms in the Kingdom, was a staunch advocate of equal rights for the Shi’a Muslim population in Saudi Arabia.  Sheikh al-Nimr, whose case USCIRF has reported on in recent years, was among the 47 men executed that day.

A Time to Take a Stand for Religious Freedom


December 23, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The media worldwide recently reported that Muslims in northern Kenya bravely refused to identify the Christians among them so that al-Shabaab terrorists, who were holding them all at gunpoint, could murder these Christians.  That this report has received such broad coverage is significant and has particular resonance during this holiday season, as we look back at the past year and toward a new year.


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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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