Welcome to USCIRF

  • USCIRF will release its 2019 Annual Report on Monday, April 29, at the U.S. Senate. Click here for more information.

  • USCIRF released a report on the dynamics of conflict between religious and ethnic groups in central Nigeria. Read more 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.

What's New at USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns today’s bomb attacks on hotels and churches in Sri Lanka targeting Christians and other innocent civilians. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – Following the completion of Indonesia’s April 17 general elections, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today expressed grave concerns about the politicization of religion during the campaign season. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today condemned in the strongest possible terms Friday’s terrorist attack in Quetta, Pakistan, which left more than 20 dead and dozens injured. The attack, for which the Islamic State has reportedly claimed responsibility, took place in a neighborhood heavily populated by Hazaras, a mostly Shi’a Muslim ethnic group. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – Kristina Arriaga and Tony Perkins, commissioners on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), today announced their adoption of American pastor David Lin as part of the Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today condemned recent comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatening to convert the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul from a museum into a mosque. 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.

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Burma Not Safe for Returning Rohingyas, Warns USCIRF

WASHINGTON, DC — Responding to the recent announcement by the governments of Burma and Bangladesh that repatriation efforts for Rohingya Muslim refugees will begin next month, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRFVice Chair Kristina Arriaga, who visited Burma last year, cited evidence of continued atrocities committed by the Buddhist-majority Burma as one of several reasons the announcement is premature.

USCIRF Hopes Ireland and Other Nations Will Abolish Dangerous Blasphemy Laws

WASHINGTON, DC – On October 26th, Ireland will hold a referendum to decide whether to remove an antiquated provision from their constitution that requires blasphemy to be made a crime. Ireland is among 69 countries that currently have blasphemy laws, which range from obsolete to actively used with penalties that include death. Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, chair of the United States Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF), cites a recent charge of blasphemy in Spain​ as showing that even European democracies sometimes enforce these flawed laws.

Vice Chair Arriaga Expresses Concern About Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ

Washington, D.C. — Kristina Arriaga, Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), today expressed serious concern about the situation of Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ, the leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), for whom she advocates as part of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project.

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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

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