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

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
WASHINGTON, DC – Residents of the northeastern Indian state of Assam face an August 31 deadline to submit citizenship verification documents in order to be included on a finalized National Register of Citizens (NRC). The stated purpose of the registration process is to verify the status of migrants from Bangladesh, which borders Assam. 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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Sudan: Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Detained Again

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2014 | USCIRF

The U.S. Commission on  International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is gravely concerned about the Sudanese government’s arrest of Meriam Ibrahim Ishag on document fraud charges and her being held with her family at a Khartoum police station following their June 24 detention at Khartoum’s airport as they sought to leave the country. USCIRF calls on the Sudanese government to release them immediately and has lodged a strong protest with the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C.

Testimony of USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George on One Year Under Rouhani: Iran’s Abysmal Human Rights Record

USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George testified on June 19 before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing entitled “One Year Under Rouhani: Iran’s Abysmal Human Rights Record.”

From the testimony:

Testimony of USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George on Protecting Religious Freedom: U.S. Efforts to Hold Accountable Countries of Particular Concern

USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George testified on Thursday, May 22 before before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing entitled "Protecting Religious Freedom: U.S. Efforts to Hold Accountable Countries of Particular Concern.”

Turkey: Statement on Hagia Sophia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 21, 2014 | USCIRF

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) finds misguided a recent bill introduced in Turkey’s parliament that would change the status of the historic Hagia Sophia in Istanbul from a museum to a mosque. USCIRF urges Prime Minister Erdoğan publicly to reject the bill and affirm that Hagia Sophia’s current status will be maintained.

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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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