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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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Nguyen Bac Truyen

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.

Fate of Nearly 2 million in Assam, India Examined in New USCIRF Report

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.

USCIRF Advocacy for Robert Levinson Spurs New Development in Iran

WASHINGTON, DC – Months of efforts by United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Commissioner Andy Khawaja to determine the whereabouts of missing and presumed imprisoned U.S. citizen Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007, have finally yielded a breakthrough. Following parallel initiatives by the White House, State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Iranian government confirmed for the first time it has an open court case against Levinson and considers him a missing person.

USCIRF Commends House Recognition of Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commends the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of H.Res. 296 on October 29, 2019 to officially recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide. The resolution affirms U.S. recognition of the atrocities committed against Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923 as genocide, and commits to promoting education and greater public understanding of the Armenian Genocide and its relevance to modern-day crimes against humanity. USCIRF urges the U.S. Senate to pass the companion resolution, S.Res 150.

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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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