Welcome to USCIRF

  • Pastor Andrew Brunson, with wife Norine Brunson, joined by USCIRF Commissioners Tony Perkins, Anurima Bhargava, Nadine Maenza, and Vice Chair Gayle Manchin at a reception on Capitol Hill on February 6, 2019.

  • 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 – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released a report on the dynamics of conflict between religious and ethnic groups in central Nigeria, where social hostility between religious groups is a key issue and sectarian violence has almost doubled over the past two years. read more
In Nigeria, a range of state and societal violations have adversely impacted religious freedom conditions in the country. As a result, since 2009, USCIRF has recommended the U.S. Department of State designate Nigeria as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC. Some of the most egregious are the denials of the right to life, liberty, and the security of people on the basis of religion or belief. Divides between religious communities and the spread of dangerous speech that incites further violence often prompt or escalate these violations. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed the appointment of Elan Carr to serve as the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, a position that has been vacant since 2017. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – Kristina Arriaga, Vice Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), today condemned the decision by a Russian court to convict and sentence Dennis Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness, to six years imprisonment on charges of “organizing the activity of an extremist organization.”   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.

Subscribe to our mailing lists

* indicates required
Subscription options

USCIRF Commemorates the Centennial Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today solemnly marks the 100 year anniversary of the tragic killing of over one million Armenians in what is now modern-day Turkey. USCIRF recognizes the profound significance of this day and the deep wounds it continues to evoke for the Armenian people, and the other religious and ethnic communities who were victims of the horrible events of 1915.

The Holocaust: Beyond Remembrance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 14, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 15 is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, an international day commemorating the six million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany and her allies.  It is a solemn day of remembrance, recalling those who suffered and died and those who fought against this evil.  

Iran: Deteriorating Conditions for Religious Freedom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 18, 2015 | USCIRF

Washington, D.C. – As the Iranian government prepares to respond on March 19 to recommendations made during the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) calls attention to deteriorating conditions for freedom of religion and belief in Iran.  

USCIRF Decries Church Attacks in Pakistan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, March 15, the day an official U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) delegation to Pakistan departed the country, Pakistani Taliban terrorists attacked two churches in Lahore during worship services.  At least 15 people were killed and over 80 wounded.  The funerals will be held today.  The attack follows other assaults on Shi’a mosques and meeting places.

Statement on USCIRF Visit to Sri Lanka

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2015 | USCIRF

Statement of Commissioner Eric P. Schwartz upon completing a visit to Sri Lanka, March 15-17, 2015

I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka with USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst Sahar Chaudhry to assess the climate for religious freedom, other human rights, and tolerance since the country’s 2015 election.

Syria: Four Years Later

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 16, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. — March 15 marked the 4th anniversary of the protests in Damascus, Aleppo and Daraa which set the stage for the Syrian conflict.  On this sad anniversary, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) remembers the millions of Syrians who have suffered.  USCIRF also notes that Syria’s history of religious diversity may be lost and all of Syria’s religious communities are largely deprived of religious freedom.

Pages

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