Date:                               August 17, 2022


U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Hearing
Religious Freedom in Afghanistan: One Year Since the Taliban Takeover 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Virtual Hearing
Register Here

Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual hearing that will examine Afghanistan’s freedom of religion or belief under the Taliban’s rule since its takeover of the country in August 2021. The hearing will also highlight opportunities for U.S. policy to support vulnerable Afghans.

The Taliban’s imposition of their narrow interpretation of Sunni Islam on all of society poses a grave threat to Afghans who interpret Islam differently, who hold a different faith, or who choose to have no faith at all. In addition, despite continued promises to protect all ethnic and religious communities residing in Afghanistan, the Taliban de facto government has been unable to protect religious minorities against attacks from Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K). While some religious minority communities face the threat of extinction, others struggle to practice their faith in hiding due to fear of reprisal.

Witnesses will document religious freedom conditions throughout the country under Taliban rule, discuss current U.S. policy, and share recommendations for the U.S. government to support religious freedom in Afghanistan.

Opening Remarks
  • Nury Turkel, Chair, USCIRF
  • Abraham Cooper, Vice Chair, USCIRF
Panel I
  • Haris Tarin, Chief of Staff, Operation Allies Welcome, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Invited)
Panel II
  • Fereshta Abbasi, Researcher, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
  • Anne Richard, Afghanistan Coordination Lead, Freedom House; former Assistant Secretary of State, Population, Refugees and Migration, U.S. Department of State
  • Joseph Azam, U.S. Policy Advisor and Board Chair, Afghan American Foundation
This hearing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the public, and the media. Members of the media should register online and can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any questions or to schedule an interview. The video recording of the hearing will be posted on the Commission website. For any additional questions, please contact Danielle Ashbahian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (202) 702-2778.