USCIRF Conversation: Democracy and Religious Freedom

Dec 07


Dec 7th 10:00am - Dec 7th 11:00am

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

USCIRF Conversation: Democracy and Religious Freedom

Tuesday, December 7, 2021
10:00 – 11:00 AM ET
Virtual Event

Register Here

Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual event about the intersection between democracy and religious freedom.

As the Biden administration prepares to host its first Summit for Democracy, this event will highlight ongoing religious freedom issues facing two of the largest democracies in the world: India and Indonesia. Focusing on these case studies, the event will explore barriers these countries are facing in realizing full protection for freedom of religion and belief.

In its 2021 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that India be designated a Country of Particular Concern and Indonesia be placed on the U.S. Department of State’s Special Watch List. The Indian government has continued to implement policies that stifle civil society and pose severe challenges to freedom of religion or belief. Since Indonesia’s transition to democracy in 1998, blasphemy allegations have proliferated across the archipelago and the country enforces many laws and regulations that hinder faith communities from operating and building houses of worship.

USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza and Commissioner Khizr Khan will be joined by guest panelists John Sifton of Human Rights Watch and Robert Hefner of Boston University. USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava will moderate the conversation followed by questions and answers from attendees. 


  • Nadine Maenza, Chair, USCIRF
  • Khizr Khan, Commissioner, USCIRF
  • John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Directory, Human Rights Watch
  • Robert Hefner, Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University


  • Anurima Bhargava, Commissioner, USCIRF

This virtual event is open to the public and media. The video recording will be posted on the Commission website. For any additional questions, please contact