USCIRF Conversation: Update on At-Risk Religious Communities in Afghanistan


Date:                     September 24, 2021



U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

USCIRF Conversation: Update on At-Risk Religious Communities in Afghanistan

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
Virtual Event

Register Here

Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual event discussing religious communities at extreme risk of persecution in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control on August 15, 2021.

The Taliban’s imposition of its harsh and strict interpretation of Sunni Islam poses a grave threat to all Afghans of differing interpretations and other faiths or beliefs. Since taking control of the country in August, the Taliban has intimidated, threatened, and targeted leaders from religious minority communities. The already small Afghan Hindu and Sikh communities are nearly extinct, and the last Jew in Afghanistan fled the country in September. Hazara Shi’a Muslims, Christians, Ahmadis, and Baha’is face dire consequences at the hands of the Taliban and ISIS-K.

This discussion will also explore ways the U.S. government and international community can protect and assist at-risk Afghans in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover.

USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza and Commissioner Frederick A. Davie will be joined by guest panelists Palwasha Kakar of the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and Krish O’Mara Vignarajah of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. USCIRF Director of Outreach and Policy Dwight Bashir will moderate the conversation followed by questions and answers from attendees. 


  • Nadine Maenza, Chair, USCIRF
  • Frederick A. Davie, Commissioner, USCIRF
  • Palwasha Kakar, Interim Director, Religion and Inclusive Societies, United States Institute of Peace
  • Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service


  • Dwight Bashir, Director of Outreach and Policy, USCIRF

This virtual event is open to the public and media. The video recording will be posted on the Commission website. For any additional questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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