Welcome to USCIRF

  • Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed the appointment to the Commission of Anurima Bhargava by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Currently founder and President of Anthem of Us, Bhargava is a civil rights lawyer with extensive experience in various roles advocating for members of underrepresented communities, including at the U.S. Department of Justice and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF).

  • USCIRF welcomed the State Department designation of 10 countries as "Countries of Particular Concern," including, for the first time, Pakistan. USCIRF's press release may be found here. The State Department announcement may be found here.  

  • USCIRF released a special report examining laws in South Asia that limit the ability of religious groups to proselytize and the freedom of individuals to convert to a different religion. Click here for more.

  • USCIRF’s Survey of 2017-2018 Saudi Middle and High School Textbooks reviews 22 middle and high school textbooks published by the Saudi government for the 2017-2018 academic year. Click here for more.

  • During the week of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, USCIRF hosted two events. Click here for more.

  • women religious freedom

    Read the May 2018 Policy Focus on Women and Religious Freedom here.

  • 2018 Annual Report

    On April 25, USCIRF released its 2018 Annual Report. Click here for the press release, or here to view the full report.

What's New at USCIRF

WASHINGTON, DC – Andy Khawaja, Commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), today announced his adoption of Hamid Kamal Mohammad bin Haydara, a Yemeni member of the Baha’i faith sentenced to death on charges that include attempting to convert Muslims, as part of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project. read more
Mohammad Ali Taheri, I am writing to you in my capacity as the Vice Chair on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to inform you that I have taken on your case as a religious prisoner of conscience. The international religious freedom community has not forgotten you. read more
Dear Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, I am writing to you in my capacity as the Vice Chair on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). I know that the Iranian authorities may never allow this letter to reach you, but the deep injustice of your case compels me to reach out. 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.
 

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.

Tweets from @USCIRF

USCIRF Focus: Blasphemy Laws

Respecting Rights? Measuring the World’s Blasphemy Laws catalogs the offending laws found in a wide range of countries. In some countries, blasphemy laws are enforced weakly, if at all, yet such laws, “in both theory and practice, harm individuals and societies.” The report details laws spanning the globe from countries such as Canada and Switzerland to Iran and Indonesia with penalties ranging from fines to death. Surprisingly, more than one-third of the world’s nations have blasphemy laws today.

Selected Blasphemy Cases seeks to put a human face on blasphemy laws. The individuals highlighted here are only a sample of those who have been negatively impacted by blasphemy laws. For some we have pictures, but for many we do not. Read their stories, the charges against them, and their sentences to better understand the devastating impact of these laws and the need for repeal.

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, as shown in Women and Religious Freedom: Synergies and Opportunities. FoRB is neither a right of “religion” as such, nor an instrument for support of religiously phrased limitations on women’s rights to equality. Harmful practices affecting women and girls cannot be accepted as legitimate manifestations of FoRB because the assertion of one human rights claim cannot be used to extinguish other rights.

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USCIRF Summit on International Religious Freedom

On April 18, 2018, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) hosted a summit commemorating the 20th anniversary of the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 in Washington D.C. 
The summit included a plenary to discuss the “State of the Union” of international religious freedom followed by two panels featuring distinguished guests discussing strategies for achieving positive change for religious freedom and prisoners of conscience around the world.

A link to the live Twitter recording of the event can be found here.

USCIRF Commissioner Andy Khawaja Adopts Yemeni Religious Prisoner of Conscience

WASHINGTON, DC – Andy Khawaja, Commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), today announced his adoption of Hamid Kamal Mohammad bin Haydara, a Yemeni member of the Baha’i faith sentenced to death on charges that include attempting to convert Muslims, as part of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project.

USCIRF Welcomes Enactment of Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today commended President Donald Trump’s signing of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, bipartisan legislation that establishes consequences for Chinese government officials responsible for restricting access to Tibetan areas by United States journalists, diplomats, tourists, and citizens, including Tibetan Americans.

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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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