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Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is closely monitoring increased protest activity in Iran and expresses concern the government may heighten its persecution of religious minorities and dissidents in response. Since December 2017, Iran’s government has reacted to widespread popular protests in the country by cracking down on Iranians who do not align with the government’s official religious views, accusing them of disloyalty, espionage, and/or endangering national security. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today praised the State Department’s announcement that it has named nine “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPCs) for particularly severe religious freedom violations and placed seven countries on its “Special Watch List” (SWL) for severe violations, pursuant to the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA)  read more
The global Jewish community is facing a rising tide of anti-Semitic hatred characterized by vandalism, Holocaust denial, violent attacks, hate speech, and the perpetuation of vicious stereotypes. Devastating attacks on synagogues, like the one in October in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, illustrate the risks Jews take by seeking to worship and live out their religious identity. Jews in some regions are even refraining from wearing kippahs, Star of David necklaces, and other identifying clothing in order to prevent targeted attacks against them. read more
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) welcomed the U.S. Department of Treasury’s imposition of sanctions yesterday on two of Iran’s “Hanging Judges”, Judge Abolghassem Salavati and Judge Mohammed Moghiseh, under Executive Order 13846. Both judges have been responsible for miscarriages of justice and severe violations of religious freedom in Iran. USCIRF has long recommended the sanctioning of both judges. read more
WASHINGTON, DC (December 19, 2019)  A bill drafted and shepherded through Congress by Democratic and Republican members reauthorizes the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for an additional three years. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, which successive U.S. administrations have raised and championed. USCIRF serves a critical role in defending and promoting the universal right to freedom of religion abroad by highlighting severe violations and making policy recommendations to address them to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. 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 Welcomes Release of Jailed Burmese Activist, Urges Freedom for All Burmese Prisoners of Conscience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 3, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commends the release of activist Dr. Tun Aung and urges the government of Burma to release other prisoners of conscience in fulfillment of the promises of President Thein Sein. 

USCIRF Warns of Potential Religiously-Motivated Violence Around Nigeria’s Upcoming Elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 2, 2015 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Reports of pre-election violence, combined with rising societal and political tensions, increase the likelihood of religiously-motivated violence around Nigeria’s February 14 presidential elections, warns the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). 

...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.

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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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