Press Releases & Statements
10/12/18: Pastor Brunson Is Released
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed with great satisfaction the decision by a Turkish court to release Pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest. Pastor Brunson was first detained on October 7, 2016, on false charges and served almost two years in prison before he was placed under house arrest on July 25, 2018.
10/10/18: Open Letter from USCIRF Commissioner Nadine Maenza to Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (October 10, 2018)
I am writing you in my capacity as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). While I am fully aware this letter may never reach you, in the event that some word of it does, I want you to know that your case is not ignored by the international community. You are not forgotten.
10/5/18: USCIRF Calls for Release of Prisoner of Conscience as White House Takes Harder Line on Religious Freedom Violations in China
WASHINGTON, DC — Commissioner Gary Bauer of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today echoed the Trump Administration’s condemnation of widespread religious freedom abuses in China as he announced his “adoption” of imprisoned Christian church leader Hu Shigen. Hu, a religious freedom advocate who had suffered torture during a previous 16-year prison sentence for human rights advocacy, was detained again in 2015 and sentenced in 2016 to a 7.5-year sentence for “subversion of government power.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a trip last week to Saudi Arabia, Commissioners Johnnie Moore and Nadine Maenza of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) met with government officials and had the first meeting ever granted between the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the “Religious Police”) and a U.S. delegation.
WASHINGTON, DC – Kristina Arriaga, Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), today announced that she is adopting two religious prisoners of conscience in Russia, Dennis Christensen and Ivan Matsitsky, as part of USCIRF’s Prisoners of Conscience Project.
Congressman Frank Wolf has been an inspiration to all who work to promote international religious freedom around the globe.
USCIRF is highly concerned by reports of Chinese authorities’ escalating religious freedom violations. On the same weekend as national media in the United States revealed the horrific detention of countless Uighur Muslims in extra-judicial “re-education camps,” the Chinese government also reportedly raided and shut down Zion Church in Beijing.
8/24/18: La Comisión de los Estados Unidos para la Libertad Religiosa Internacional Condena la Violencia y Represión de las Autoridades Nicaragüenses Contra Entidades Religiosas
WASHINGTON, DC – La Comisión de los Estados Unidos para la Libertad Religiosa Internacional (USCIRF) condena enérgicamente la violencia dirigida en contra de líderes y ministerios religiosos. Desde el mes de abril, durante protestas a favor de la democracia, más de 300 personas han sido asesinadas y muchos más heridos, incluyendo líderes de organizaciones religiosas.
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns increasing violence directed particularly at religious leaders and ministries by the Nicaraguan government and its supporters. Since pro-democracy demonstrations began in April, more than 300 people have been killed and many more injured, including leaders of faith-based organizations.
8/7/18: At Gathering of 37,000 Ahmadi Muslims, USCIRF Commissioner Johnnie Moore Vows to Make Religious Freedom in Pakistan a Priority
WASHINGTON, DC - Commissioner Johnnie Moore, of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), promised to make religious freedom in Pakistan a priority at this week’s gathering of nearly 37,000 Ahmadis at the 52nd Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United Kingdom.