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

Monsoon season is currently wreaking havoc on the more than 911,000 Rohingya refugees displaced from their homeland in Burma to the ramshackle camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Two years ago, in August 2017, a brutal military crackdown pushed more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities from Burma’s Rakhine State to flee for safety. The Burmese military has shamefully denied and tried to hide its barbarism, which includes arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, displacement, rape, torture and arbitrary killings. And, Burma’s government has repudiated the international community’s attempts to document the crimes committed under international law, all while denying Rohingya basic rights like freedom of movement, access to health care and basic necessities, and citizenship. read more
WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to a report released yesterday by United Nations-commissioned investigators concluding that the sexual violence committed by Burmese troops against Rohingya Muslims and others --abuse that is still ongoing in some parts of Burma— is an indication of the military’s genocidal intent, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Vice Chair Nadine Maenza and Commissioner Anurima Bhargava issued the following statements: read more
WASHINGTON, DC – On the first “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief,” declared by the United Nations General Assembly for August 22nd to condemn continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals, including persons belonging to religious minorities, on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chair Tony Perkins and Vice Chair Gayle Manchin issued the following statement: read more
WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of State publicly designated Salah Abdalla Mohamed Mohamed Salih (Salah Gosh) of Sudan and his wife and daughter under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, making them ineligible for entry into the United States. As former director of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Gosh was responsible for the agency’s wide range of human rights abuses, including the repression of religious minorities. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed changes to Saudi Arabia’s laws that decrease restrictions imposed on women by the religiously-grounded male guardianship system. The changes allow women to travel without a guardian’s permission, maintain legal guardianship over their children, and register marriages, births, and divorces. 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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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.

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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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