Welcome to USCIRF

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

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J and Commissioner Jackie Wolcott meet with a Nigerian delegation of National Assembly Members, March 23, 2017

    USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J and Commissioner Jackie Wolcott meet with a Nigerian delegation of National Assembly Members, March 22, 2017.

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. and Commissioner Jackie Wolcott met with a Coptic Solidarity delegation to discuss the plight of Copts in Egypt, March 22, 2017.

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz with Representative Chris Smith and Pastor Edward Awabdeh of Damascus, Syria at an International Religious Freedom Caucus event titled "Iraq and Syria after ISIS and the Fate of Religious Minorities," March 21, 2017. 

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz with the Honorable Frank Wolf at a Capitol Hill event titled "U.S. Foreign Policy and International Religious Freedom: Recommendations for the Trump Administration and the U.S. Congress," March 20, 2017. 

  • USCIRF Commissioner Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz speaking at a Captiol Hill event marking the one-year anniversary of the State Department's ISIS genocide declaration, March 16, 2017. 

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. and Commissioner Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz with Kyrgyz Republic's Ambassador to the United States and Canada, Kadyr Toktogulov, March 9, 2017. 

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. and Commissioner Jackie Wolcott met with Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, March 1, 2017

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. with U Aung Lynn, Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, February 21, 2017

    USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. with U Aung Lynn, Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, February 21, 2017

  • USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. participating in a Religion News Service event on "Tolerance: A Key To Religious Freedom" (Photo courtesy of RNS/Cathy Grossman), February 9, 2017

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

Report cover of 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

USCIRF Issues Reports on Religious Freedom Violations in Burma

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released two reports highlighting Burma’s serious religious freedom challenges:

India: USCIRF Not Issued Visas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2016
 

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The Indian government today failed to issue visas to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in time for a long planned trip to India. The goal of the Commission’s trip was to discuss and assess religious freedom conditions in that nation.

Bangladesh: Action Needed as USCIRF Marks Anniversary of Avijit Roy’s Murder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2016
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) solemnly marks the one-year anniversary on February 26 of the brutal murder of Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-American secular blogger.  Attackers wielding machetes killed Roy after he left a book fair during a visit to Dhaka.  His wife, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, survived the attack with serious wounds.

Pakistan: USCIRF Calls for the Immediate Release of Abdul Shakoor and the Dropping of all Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2016
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns the arrest, detention, and sentencing of Abul Shakoor, an 80-year-old optician, for propagating the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith, which is banned in Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia Executes Prominent Shi’a Cleric

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

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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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