International Religious Freedom
People of faith face discrimination in most of the world.
Governments, hostile religious groups and terrorists destroy places of worship, harass and intimidate people of minority religions and inflict lethal violence on individuals simply for following their faith.
The U.S. Government has established several offices (see below) to focus on and advance international religious freedom: the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State, and the independent, nonpartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Freedom2Care meets regularly with international religious freedom officials.
Persecution worldwide demonstrates what happens when countries limit or forbid religious freedom. This should serve to remind us to pray and advocate for the persecuted and also to make sure that the United States faithfully implements its heritage and Constitutional commitments to the free exercise of religion.
USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties.
U.S. Dept. of State
The Office of International Religious Freedom has the mission of promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy. The Office monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommends and implements policies in respective regions or countries, and develops programs to promote religious freedom.
USCIRF Annual Report
USCIRF’s 2021 Annual Report assesses religious freedom violations and progress during calendar year 2020 in 26 countries and makes independent recommendations for U.S. policy. The key findings, recommendations, and analysis in this report are based on a year’s research by USCIRF, including travel, hearings, meetings, and briefings, and are approved by a majority vote of Commissioners, with each Commissioner, under the statute, having the option to include a statement with his or her own individual views.
State Dept. Annual Report
The Department of State submits an annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom in compliance with section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-292), as amended. This report, also known as the International Religious Freedom Report, describes the status of religious freedom, government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations and individuals, and U.S. policies promoting religious freedom in nearly every country and territory throughout the world.
Commission on Unalienable Rights
On July 8, 2019, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced the formation of a Commission on Unalienable Rights. The commission, composed of academics, philosophers, and activists, was charged with providing the U.S. government with advice on human rights grounded in our nation’s founding principles and the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.