105 episodes

Welcome to a new weekly podcast series called “USCIRF Spotlight” hosted by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal advisory body. During each episode, Director of Outreach and Policy Dwight Bashir features a special guest to dive deeper on various topics and breaking developments that impact the universal right to freedom of religion or belief around the globe.

USCIRF Spotlight Podcast USCIRF

    • News
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

Welcome to a new weekly podcast series called “USCIRF Spotlight” hosted by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal advisory body. During each episode, Director of Outreach and Policy Dwight Bashir features a special guest to dive deeper on various topics and breaking developments that impact the universal right to freedom of religion or belief around the globe.

    Shortcomings of the State Department’s CPC Designations

    Shortcomings of the State Department’s CPC Designations

    One of USCIRF’s key functions is to make recommendations to the State Department about which countries we think should be designated as Countries of Particular Concern or CPCs, based on our independent research and analysis. Every year we await the State Department’s announcement of its religious freedom designations to assess how they match up with USCIRF’s recommendations. On today’s episode of the USCIRF Spotlight Podcast, USCIRF Chair Abraham Cooper and Vice Chair Frederick A. Davie join us to discuss the State Department’s most recent CPC designations—specifically the countries we think should have been added to this list including India, Nigeria, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Syria. Read USCIRF’s Press Release on the 2023 State Department IRF Designations (https://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/releases-statements/uscirf-calls-congressional-hearing-after-state-department-fails)With Contributions from:Abraham Cooper, Chair, USCIRFFrederick A. Davie, Vice Chair, USCIRFElizabeth Cassidy, Director of Research & Policy, USCIRFVeronica McCarthy, Public Affairs Associate, USCIRF

    • 31 min
    Violence Against Tribal Christians in Manipur, India

    Violence Against Tribal Christians in Manipur, India

    In May 2023, violent clashes between two communities erupted in India’s Manipur state, leaving entire villages burned and displacing tens of thousands. The ongoing conflict is between the state’s majority Hindu Meitei community and the Christian Kuki population and has seen the direct targeting of religious symbols and places of worship and refuge. More than 250 churches of different denominations have been burned or damaged across the state. Religious freedom in India has declined in recent years, marked by the promotion and enforcement of discriminatory laws and practices that negatively impact the country’s minority Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and Adivasis populations. In its 2023 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the State Department designate India as a Country of Particular Concern for systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.USCIRF Policy Analyst Sema Hasan joins Supervisory Policy Advisor Jamie Staley to discuss the current conflict in Manipur and religious freedom conditions in India. Read USCIRF’s 2023 Annual Report Chapter on India (https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/2023-05/India%202023.pdf)With Contributions from:Jamie Staley, Supervisory Policy Advisor, USCIRFSema Hasan, Policy Analyst, USCIRFVeronica McCarthy, Public Affairs Associate, USCIRF

    • 15 min
    The State of Religious Freedom in Algeria

    The State of Religious Freedom in Algeria

    In recent years USCIRF has reported that religious freedom conditions in Algeria have continued to deteriorate with the government increasingly enforcing blasphemy laws and restricting worship. These laws particularly impact religious minorities, such as Protestant Christians and Ahmadiyya Muslims. In 2022, the U.S. Department of State placed Algeria on its Special Watch List (SWL), following USCIRF’s recommendation. USCIRF Senior Policy Analyst, Madeline Vellturo, joins Researcher, Hilary Miller, to discuss the continued decline of religious freedom in Algeria.Read USCIRF’s Law and Religion in Algeria Factsheet (https://www.uscirf.gov/publications/law-and-religion-algeria)With Contributions from:Madeline Vellturo, Senior Policy Analyst, USCIRFHilary Miller, Researcher, USCIRFVeronica McCarthy, Public Affairs Associate, USCIRF

    • 16 min
    USCIRF’s FoRB Victims List: Background and 2022 Updates

    USCIRF’s FoRB Victims List: Background and 2022 Updates

    In 2016, Congress passed the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act which mandated that USCIRF maintain a list of individuals targeted for their religion or belief. In 2019, USCIRF launched its Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) Victims List – an online database that catalogues persons detained, imprisoned, placed under house arrest, disappeared, forced to renounce their faith, and tortured for their religious belief, religious activity, and religious freedom advocacy. Since then, the FoRB Victims List has documented almost 2,000 victims with that number unfortunately continuing to grow.USCIRF Researcher, Dylan Schexnaydre, joins Research Analyst, Zack Udin, to discuss the database’s background, recent upgrades, and data for 2022.Read USCIRF’s Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) Factsheet (https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/2022-12/2022%20Factsheet%20-%20FoRB%20Victims%20List.pdf)View USCIRF’s Freedom of Religion or Belief Victims List (https://www.uscirf.gov/victims-list/) or complete the Victims List Intake Form (https://www.uscirf.gov/form/uscirf-victims-list-intake-form). With Contributions from:Dylan Schexnaydre, Researcher, USCIRFZachary Udin, Research Analyst, USCIRFVeronica McCarthy, Public Affairs Associate, USCIRF

    • 13 min
    State Favored Religions’ Impact on Religious Freedom

    State Favored Religions’ Impact on Religious Freedom

    Governments around the world use many different strategies to control or repress religion, but a common tactic is for the state to elevate a particular religion to a special status in ways that can marginalize different faiths or belief systems. USCIRF’s recently released report, “A Global Overview of Official and Favored Religions and Global Implications for Religious Freedom,” looks at 78 countries that identify an official or favored religion and subsequently enforce that religion, or a particular interpretation of that religion, through the law. While several countries that maintain these relevant laws do not enforce them or even have a legal framework to enforce them, some countries take these laws seriously and are, in fact, some of the worst violators of freedom of religion or belief. Kurt Werthmuller, Supervisory Policy Analyst and author of this report, joins us today to discuss the findings of this report.Read the full report on “A Global Overview of Official and Favored Religions and Global Implications for Religious Freedom” (https://www.uscirf.gov/publications/implications-laws-promoting-state-favored-religions)With Contributions from:Kurt Wertmuller, Supervisory Policy Analyst, USCIRFJamie Staley, Supervisory Policy Advisor, USCIRFVeronica McCarthy, Public Affairs Associate, USCIRF

    • 22 min
    Differences Between Religious Tolerance and Religious Freedom

    Differences Between Religious Tolerance and Religious Freedom

    Authoritarian states promote religious tolerance without necessarily ensuring freedom of religion or belief. Last month, USCIRF released a report distinguishing between these two concepts and explains the origins of religious tolerance promotion as a tool of statecraft. The report presents case studies of countries engaged in religious tolerance promotion, such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Russia, and Uzbekistan. Dr. David Warren, the author of the report and lecturer in the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, join us to today to discuss the important findings and ways the U.S. government can utilize discussions of religious tolerance to set a groundwork for broader rights protections.Read the full report on “Tolerance, Religious Freedom, and Authoritarianism (https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/2022-12/2022%20Religious%20Freedom%20Tolerance%20Report.pdf)”With Contributions from:Scott Weiner, Supervisory Policy Analyst, USCIRFVeronica McCarthy, Public Affairs Associate, USCIRF

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Top Podcasts In News

The Daily
The New York Times
Up First
NPR
Serial
Serial Productions & The New York Times
The Tucker Carlson Show
Tucker Carlson Network
The Ben Shapiro Show
The Daily Wire
Pod Save America
Crooked Media