USCIRF (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     3rd May 2024        

Context: India recently criticized the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), accusing it of attempting to interfere in the Indian election process.

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

  • About: USCIRF was established by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), tasked with monitoring the global status of religious freedom.
  • Monitoring Role: It actively monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) outside the United States.
  • Headquarters: Washington DC.
  • Policy Recommendations: The commission formulates policy recommendations directed towards the President, Secretary of State, and Congress based on its observations..
  • Composition: The commission maintains a bipartisan composition to ensure diverse perspectives, supported by a non-partisan professional staff.

Religious Freedom

  • Inherent in religious freedom is the right to believe or not believe as one’s conscience leads, and live out one’s beliefs openly, peacefully, and without fear.  
  • Freedom of religion or belief is an expansive right that includes the freedoms of thought, conscience, expression, association, and assembly.