Religious Freedom Activists to Patton Boggs: Stop Lobbying for China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar

By Alex Madajian | May 3, 2019 | 12:46pm EDT
Save the Persecuted Christians
Founder and President Frank
Gaffney. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( — On May 1, a religious freedom coalition called Save the Persecuted Christians held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to announce that it has sent a letter to the Squire Patton Boggs law firm urging it to cease its lobbying efforts for the religiously repressive regimes in Communist China, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

“We write to you as advocates for religious freedom out of a shared concern that foreign governments represented by your firm are among the world’s most aggressive persecutors of people of faith,” states the letter, signed by 46 religious freedom advocates.

“It is deeply troubling to us that your prestigious firm and the many good people it employs are currently associated with and providing legal counsel, representation, and other services to such nations,” they state, adding that some of the firm's attorneys and advisers include former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“As advocates for suffering religious communities globally, we are determined to hold accountable those responsible,” reads the letter. “We respectfully call upon your firm to promptly and fully disassociate itself from and cease all work on behalf of the governments of the People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

The letter details some of the religious persecution in each of those regimes. Communist China, for instance, “is engaged in systematic repression of every religious minority, including by controlling access to information via the Internet,” states the letter.

Also, over one million Uyghur Muslims are currently being held in Communist Chinese reeducation/concentration camps.

In Saudi Arabia, women are repressed and “Christians and other faith communities in the Kingdom risk imprisonment and gruesome corporal punishments, including decapitation,” reads the letter.

A victim of the anti-Christian bombing in Sri Lanka. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

The letter also documents payments made to Squire Patton Boggs from China, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar for different reporting periods during the last few years.

Former Congressman Frank Wolf, who signed letter and spoke at the press conference, said, “During the Carter and Reagan administrations, no law firm or public relations firm in this [region, Washington, D.C.] would represent the Soviet Union. There’s been a shift.”

Some of the other letter-signers included Frank Gaffney, president of Save the Persecuted Christians; Pastor Bob Fu, founder and president of ChinaAid; Archbishop Foley Beach, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America; and Omer Kanat, the director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

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