What Is USCIRF?
Founded in 1998, USCIRF is an “independent, bipartisan, federal commission” that uses international standards to “monitor violations of religious freedom or belief abroad.” As it evaluates situations throughout the world, the commission advises Congress, the Secretary of State and the President about various policies.
The USCIRF sees value in protecting religious freedoms because 1) countries that guard those freedoms tend to be more stable and 2) because the free practice of religion is a basic human right. “In order to flourish,” says the USCIRF, “people must be free to address the deepest questions of existence and meaning so they may lead lives of authenticity and integrity by following the dictates of conscience, peacefully fulfilling what they firmly believe to be their religious and moral duties. Our Commission is dedicated to defending this great cause.”