Date: October 26, 2021
Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following report on religious freedom violations in the Russian Federation’s Republic of Chechnya:
Russia Issue Update – The government of Chechnya—a tiny ethnic enclave in the North Caucasus region of Russia—is a highly authoritarian regime that perpetrates a wide array of human rights abuses, including severe violations of religious freedom. This report focuses on Chechnya as an example of the egregious religious repression in Russia. The dictatorship of Ramzan Kadyrov maintains hegemony through the imposition of a purported “traditional” version of Islam, which falsely claims to defend local belief and culture, and combat violent extremism. In reality, Kadyrov has coopted Chechen religion and culture to support his brutal regime, which violates the secular constitution of the Russian Federation and international standards of freedom of religion or belief.
In its 2021 Annual Report, USCIRF again recommended that the U.S. Department of State designate Russia as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations. USCIRF’s new Chechnya report presents analysis in support of this recommendation by focusing on one particular region of Russia’s troubled religious freedom landscape. Religious freedom conditions in Chechnya are among the worst in the world, and the Russian government is ultimately responsible for them.
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