Commissioner Thomas J. Reese, S.J.: I implore the Eritrean government to do the right thing: Release Patriarch Antonios. Allow him to take his duly elected position as the head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church and let the Eritrean people exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief.
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Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project
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.
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USCIRF Focus: Blasphemy Laws
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.
USCIRF denounces the Russian Supreme Court ruling on Monday rejecting an appeal by the Jehovah’s Witnesses against an April decision declaring them as extremist.
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, a new USCIRF report finds.
Mr. Shakoor is an 80-year-old Ahmadi manager of a bookshop and optician store who was sentenced to eight years imprisonment on blasphemy charges. Chairman Mark is advocating on behalf of Mr. Shakoor as part of USCIRF's Prisoners of Conscience Project
Dear Gulmira:I write to you as July 14th comes to an end. On that day eight years ago, as you know all too well, Chinese government officials arrested you. While this open letter may never reach you, I want you to know that as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I am ardently advocating on your behalf.
In his testimony Commissioner Dorjee discussed his personal story of fleeing Tibet and the Chinese government's repression of Tibetan Buddhists, including the demolition of the Larung Gar Buddhist academy and the detention of religious prisoners of conscience. Commissioner Dorjee also provided recommendations to the U.S. Congress and Administration.
Muslims around the world recently marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan. “The Chinese government has taken unprecedented steps to trample on the religious freedom of Uighur Muslims particularly during Ramadan,” said USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a May 30 letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling on him to “take steps to address severe violations of religious freedom and other human rights” in Sudan. In the letter, USCIRF called on Secretary Tillerson to maintain existing sanctions on the Sudanese government due to deteriorating religious freedom conditions.
At its June 13 meeting, USCIRF commissioners elected Daniel Mark as the Commission’s new chairman. Dr. Mark is an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University and battalion professor for Villanova’s Navy ROTC unit. In response to his election, Chairman Mark said, “I am greatly honored by the confidence shown in me by my fellow commissioners. I look forward to enhancing USCIRF’s role and voice in monitoring violations and recommending ways U.S. policy can play an even stronger role.”
H.R. 390 would promote accountability for atrocities committed by ISIS and address the urgent humanitarian needs of persecuted religious and/or ethnic minorities targeted for genocide.
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…