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Events -

The State of International of International Religious Freedom

May 17, 2017
USCIRF held a public event to discuss the 2017 Annual Report, including the newly launched Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project. Tom Gallagher of Religion News Service moderated the panel. Panelists included: Chair Thomas J. Reese, Vice Chairman Daniel Mark, Commissioner Kristina Arriaga, Commissioner Sandra Jolley, Commissioner Clifford D. May, Commissioner John Ruskay, and Commissioner Jackie Wolcott. More information on the event here

Launch of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project
April 6, 2017

USCIRF publicly launched its Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project at the Capitol Hill Visitor’s Center in Washington, D.C.. USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., and Commissioners Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, Tenzin Dorjee, and Sandra Jolley spoke on behalf of their religious prisoners of conscience.

Tolerance: A Key to Religious Freedom
February 9, 2017

USCIRF cohosted with the Religious News Service/Religious News Foundation a panel discussion on tolerance.  The panel discussion focused on the grave humanitarian consequences when religious freedom is violated, the role of education in building tolerance and religious understanding, and the need for members of Congress to set aside partisan differences and continue to travel together to investigate religious persecution firsthand and visit the imprisoned and their families. Panelists were: former Rep. Frank Wolf, former Ambassador-at-Large Rabbi David Saperstein, John Sexton, president emeritus of New York University, and Joyce Dubensky, CEO of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding.  USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. moderated the panel.

Read the full transcript of the event here

Barriers to Protection: Expedited Removal and the Detention of Asylum Seekers
January 19, 2017

USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese Reese, S.J. and Senior Policy Analyst Tiffany Lynch discussed the newly released USCIRF report Barriers to Protection at a panel discussion held at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonito, Texas.

Burma at the Brink: Religious Freedom Violations Threaten its Future
December 13, 2016

USCIRF at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. publicly released two reports highlighting Burma’s serious religious freedom challenges: Hidden Plight: Christian Minorities in Burma and Suspended in Time: The Ongoing Persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Burma.

With opening remarks from USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J., panelists included: Rachel Fleming, independent human rights research and activist, and author of Hidden Plight: Christian Minorities in Burma, Susan Hayward, Director at Religion and Inclusive Societies at the United States Institute of Peace, and Tina Mufford, Senior Policy Analyst at USCIRF.

Barriers to Protection – USCIRF Issues Report on the Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Expedited Removal
August 3, 2016

USCIRF, along with Human Rights First, held an event specific to USCIRF’s report, Barriers to Protection.  The report highlights challenges with the U.S. government’s treatment of asylum seekers in Expedited Removal the moment asylum seekers enter the United States. USCIRF’s Director of International Law and Policy, Elizabeth K. Cassidy, and Senior Policy Analyst Tiffany Lynch served as panelists.

Click here to watch the eventClick here to read a transcript of the event.

Religious Extremism in Africa
August 1, 2016

USCIRF and CSIS examined the dynamics that drive extremism among some Muslim and Christian communities in parts of Africa and analyzed the threat such extremism poses to security, community cohesion, and social development. The discussions focused on how governments and non-governmental actors (religious communities, civil society, and the media) address the threat of extremism, including examples of successful approaches and what can be learned from these approaches. USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst Tiffany Lynch served as a panelist.

Europe at a Crossroad:  Civil Society Efforts to Counter Religious Hatred and Bigotry in Europe,
April 11, 2016

USCIRF hosted a conversation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that examined efforts by grassroots, student, and faith leaders to prevent and combat religious hatred, counter extremism, and improve religious freedom and equality for all, taking into account recent terrorist attacks.  Panelists included Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and European civil society leaders. Former USCIRF Commissioner Hannah Rosenthal moderated the panel, and former USCIRF Chair George and former Commissioner Lantos-Swett, along with then Commissioner Zogby provided remarks. 

A Global Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
October 28, 2015
Then UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres participated in a conversation hosted by USCIRF at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. which focused on the urgent refugee crisis taking place in Syria and across many parts of the world, the role of religious freedom violations in this crisis, and policies that best would address conflicts and their humanitarian consequences. Then USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George and Commissioners Eric P. Schwartz spoke at the event.