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 Highly Concerned by Latest Chinese Government Abuses Against Religious Communities

USCIRF is highly concerned by reports of Chinese authorities’ escalating religious freedom violations. On the same weekend as national media in the United States revealed the horrific detention of countless Uighur Muslims in extra-judicial “re-education camps,” the Chinese government also reportedly raided and shut down Zion Church in Beijing.

La Comisión de los Estados Unidos para la Libertad Religiosa Internacional Condena la Violencia y Represión de las Autoridades Nicaragüenses Contra Entidades Religiosas

WASHINGTON, DC – La Comisión de los Estados Unidos para la Libertad Religiosa Internacional (USCIRF) condena enérgicamente la violencia dirigida en contra de líderes y ministerios religiosos. Desde el mes de abril, durante protestas a favor de la democracia, más de 300 personas han sido asesinadas y muchos más heridos, incluyendo líderes de organizaciones religiosas.

USCIRF Condemns Violence Against Religious Ministries in Nicaragua

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns increasing violence directed particularly at religious leaders and ministries by the Nicaraguan government and its supporters. Since pro-democracy demonstrations began in April, more than 300 people have been killed and many more injured, including leaders of faith-based organizations.

At Gathering of 37,000 Ahmadi Muslims, USCIRF Commissioner Johnnie Moore Vows to Make Religious Freedom in Pakistan a Priority

WASHINGTON, DC - Commissioner Johnnie Moore, of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), promised to make religious freedom in Pakistan a priority at this week’s gathering of nearly 37,000 Ahmadis at the 52nd Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United Kingdom.

Pastor Andrew Brunson Returned to Turkish Prison

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today condemned a Turkish court’s decision to return Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American citizen and leader of a small Protestant Christian church, to prison to await a fourth hearing on October 12, 2018. Pastor Brunson has been unjustly detained in Turkey since October 7, 2016 on false terrorism and espionage related charges. USCIRF Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga attended today’s hearing in Aliaga, Turkey. USCIRF has condemned the charges against Pastor Brunson and has called for his immediate release.

USCIRF to Host Reception Celebrating 20th Anniversary of IRFA and a Grant Workshop During First-Ever Ministerial on International Religious Freedom

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) will host a reception at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Wednesday, July 25, in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), announced USCIRF chair Dr. Tenzin Dorjee today. The reception at USIP will be held on July 25 from 5:00-7:00 p.m during the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. This is an invitation-only event. On Thursday, July 26, USCIRF will also host a grant workshop for civil society organizations.

USCIRF Condemns Terrorist Attack Against Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns Sunday’s terrorist attack that killed more than 20 people in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. This attack, for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, targeted members of Afghanistan’s minority Hindu and Sikh communities, including Sikh candidate for parliament Awtar Singh Khalsa, who was killed in the attack.

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