Date: September 18, 2023
Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released the following new report on religious freedom conditions in Iraq:
Iraq Country Update – This report examines recent developments as well as ongoing factors affecting religious freedom in Iraq under both Iraq’s federal government (IFG) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The country update evaluates Iraq’s persistent political sectarianism and recent legislative proposals with the potential to restrict freedom of religion or belief for Iraq’s diverse religious communities. The report also assesses the lack of security religious minorities such as Christians and Yazidis face, with property misappropriation and harassment by both state and non-state actors prompting community members’ prolonged internal displacement and permanent emigration from the country.
In its 2023 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the U.S. Department of State include Iraq on its Special Watch List (SWL) for engaging in or tolerating severe violations of religious freedom pursuant to the International Religious Freedom Act. In a January 2023 factsheet, USCIRF assessed the effects on religious freedom of Iraq’s recent political crises.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a commissioner, please contact USCIRF at