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 -  Last week saw three important steps taken against Burmese government perpetrators of atrocity crimes against Rohingya Muslims in Burma: the Gambia filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing Burma of genocide against the Rohingya in Rakhine State; human rights groups filed a case in Argentina against Burmese political and military leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, for actions against the Rohingya; and the International Criminal Court (ICC) approved a prosecution request to investigate potential crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya. read more
WASHINGTON, DC –  Anurima Bhargava, a Commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today announced her adoption of Vietnamese religious freedom advocate and Hoa Hao Buddhist Nguyen Bac Truyen as part of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Projectread more
Nguyen Bac Truyen is a legal expert who leads the Vietnamese Political & Religious Prisoners Friendship Association, which assists prisoners of conscience and their families. On November 17, 2006, Truyen was arrested and sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in prison on charges of “conducting propaganda” against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. He was released on May 2010. On July 30, 2017, he was again detained, arrested, and ultimately sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment on charges of “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration.” He is currently serving this sentence. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released a report on the religious freedom implications of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. With 1.9 million names of residents of Assam left off the updated NRC list, the report raises concerns about how the NRC process is being used to target and disenfranchise the Muslim population in 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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...on blasphemy laws

Many countries around the world have laws that punish expression deemed blasphemous, defamatory of religion, or contemptuous or insulting to religion or religious symbols, figures, or feelings.  The application of these laws has resulted in individuals being jailed for merely expressing a different religious belief or being falsely accused.

USCIRF Statement on flogging of Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 9, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is deeply disturbed by the news that a Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, was publicly flogged 50 times today in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as part of a punishment for a blasphemy conviction.  USCIRF has long followed Mr. Badawi’s case, expressed its grave concern, and called for his release.

North Korea Must be Held Accountable for its Abysmal Human Rights Record

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 22, 2014 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed the UN General Assembly’s passage on December 18 of a resolution that condemns North Korea’s “ongoing systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights” and transmits a UN report on these violations to the Security Council.  The UN’s annual resolution on human rights in North Korea passed by a 116-20 vote, with 53 abstentions. 

Turkey: Reopen Halki

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 20, 2014 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today urged the Turkish government to reopen the Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary, the only Greek Orthodox educational institution in Turkey, which was closed 43 years ago this month.  Halki remains closed despite Turkish government officials’ promises and public statements of support for its reopening.

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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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