Welcome to USCIRF

  • Vice Chair Nadine Maenza and Commissioner Anurima Bhargava traveled to Iraq in late July to participate in a conference commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide. Learn more here. (Here they are pictured with Khanim Latif, Iraq's Presidential Advisor on Women's Affairs.)

  • On Thursday, June 28, USCIRF held a hearing on religious freedom in Turkey. Learn more here.

  • On Friday, May 10, USCIRF Commissioners met with Vice President Pence and Ambassador Bolton to discuss findings and recommendations from the 2019 Annual Report.

  • On Monday, April 29, USCIRF released its 2019 Annual Report: Key Findings and Recommendations. Read more here.

  • 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.

What's New at USCIRF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 20, 2019 USCIRF calls for immediate Release of blogger Raif Badawi    read more
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released a report on the Chinese government’s use of surveillance cameras, biometric technology and artificial intelligence to monitor and harass religious communities. Included in the report are how the government has installed thousands of cameras around mosques, temples, and churches in order to track who attends services; and Chinese companies have marketed facial recognition technology as has having the ability to identify and notify security forces about the presence of any Uighur Muslims or Tibetan Buddhists. read more
During the past decade, the Chinese government has increasingly employed advanced technology to amplify its repression of religious and faith communities. Authorities have installed surveillance cameras both outside and inside houses of worship to monitor and identify attendees. The government has deployed facial recognition systems that are purportedly able to distinguish Uighurs and Tibetans from other ethnic groups. Chinese authorities have also collected biometric information—including blood samples, voice recordings, and fingerprints—from religious and faith communities, often without their consent. read more
WASHINGTON, DC (September 13, 2019) -- In response to the U.S. State Department’s recent decision to publicly designate Russian officials Vladimir Petrovich Yermolayev and Stepan Vladimirovich Tkach, as well as their immediate families, as ineligible for entry into the United States for their involvement in the arrest and torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Surgut, USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins and Vice Chair Gayle Manchin issued the following statements: 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

 

 

 

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Recent Publications

A Survey of 2017-2018 Saudi Middle and High School Textbooks catalogs the offending laws found in a wide range of countries. This follow-on contracted study reviews 22 middle and high school textbooks published by the Saudi government for the 2017-2018 academic year, including the 12 high school books previously reviewed by USCIRF in its May 2018 Special Report.

Central Nigeria: Overcoming Dangerous Speech and Endemic Religious Divides examines how dangerous speech and polarizing narratives in Nigeria have fueled violence, discrimination and segregation between Muslims and Christians for decades, particularly in central Nigeria, and how these dynamics have contributed to violence and religious freedom violations.

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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.

A Time to Take a Stand for Religious Freedom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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 federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze and report on threats to freedom of religion or belief abroad. USCIRF makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion or belief.

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