An informal coalition representing an array of public policy organizations and over 1,000 individuals is delivering on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China—one of the world's most horrific persecutors of Christians and other believers—a petition urging President Donald Trump, his Cabinet and federal legislators not to meet with representatives of firms that lobby on behalf of China and other nations that deny religious freedom.
The Stop Persecuting Believers (SPB) Coalition's Petition is intended to demonstrate solidarity with those around the globe who are persecuted for their faiths. It is also meant to communicate to U.S. government representatives of American believers and others concerned about the plight of the faithful the world-over that it is unacceptable to aid and abet those who, like the prominent law firm Squire Patton Boggs, enable such persecution by lobbying for the perpetrators.
The SPB Petition signers call upon Squire Patton Boggs—which lobbies on behalf not only of the People's Republic of China but of four other notorious state-sponsors of religious persecution (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Cameroon and the Palestinian Authority)—to cease such representation, as should any other firm that represents regimes that deny freedom of religion. And they "urge members of the executive and legislative branches to decline to meet or do business with those who engage in such lobbying on behalf of persecutors."
"Today, the Chinese Communist Party is celebrating seven decades of its brutal repression of the people of China—and most especially those who dare to believe in a higher power than the Party and its dictator-for-life, Xi Jinping. This marks one of the darkest days in all of human history," said Frank J. Gaffney, president and CEO of Save the Persecuted Christians, a growing grassroots organization that helped organize the SPB Petition. "As long as firms like Squire Patton Boggs lobby on behalf of such odious regimes as the PRC's, they are helping to legitimate, enrich and empower them and enabling their crimes against humanity. Those who meet or otherwise do business with the representatives of such firms risk being seen as complicit in that enabling."
Added Dr. Bob Fu, President of ChinaAid, "Seventy years under Chinese Communist Party's brutal rule has resulted in tens of millions of innocent Chinese people being slaughtered and massacred. With persecution of people of faith getting worse every day under Xi's regime, it's time for the Western enablers of the persecutors, such as Squire Patton Boggs, to stop."
This initiative began in May 2019 when leaders of Save the Persecuted Christians and 44 other civil society organizations representing Christians, Muslims, Falun Gong practitioners, Buddhists and other persecuted faith communities signed a joint letter asking Squire Patton Boggs to stop promoting the interests of regimes that oppress believers. In the absence of any response, 15 of Squire Patton Boggs' offices around the United States were contacted in July to reinforce the request and solicit an answer. To date, none has been forthcoming, prompting the SPB Petition.
Gaffney and Fu signed today a transmittal letter on behalf of the SPB Coalition, a copy of which is found here, as is the petition with its 1,091 signatories. The petition is housed on Change.org and remains open for signature. It has been promoted on social media with the hashtags #SaveUs and #Free2Pray.
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