SPB Letter – Don’t Help the Persecutors

Squire Patton Boggs, LLP
Don't Help the Persecutors

Mark Ruehlmann, Esq.
Chairman and Global CEO
Squire Patton Boggs
4900 Key Tower
127 Public Square
Cleveland, Ohio  44114

Dear Mr. Ruehlmann:

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.  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.

Consider, for example, the following facts about the regimes of the People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar:

China is engaged in systematic repression of every religious minority, including by controlling access to information via the Internet. Uyghur Muslims experience oppressive surveillance, forced DNA collection and incarceration with over a million of them imprisoned in so-called “political reeducation” centers that are, in actuality, concentration camps. Some such camps have reportedly, chillingly had crematoria installed for disposing of the bodies of those who die while interned.

The Chinese government has also been destroying Protestant and Catholic churches, arresting clerics and their congregants for decades. Recently they have also begun offering rewards for revealing information about where they secretly gather for worship. It is subjecting Falun Gong and other faiths’ believers to involuntary and often murderous organ-harvesting. Tibetan Buddhists suffer cultural genocide, a horror that has prompted some 140 Buddhist monks and nuns to self-immolate.  Moreover, the Chinese Communist Party is aggressively exporting its authoritarian practices and techniques – even in this country where its Confucius Institute influence operations are suppressing religious freedom on campus and its operatives who engage in intimidation and harassment of dissidents and activists.

Saudi Arabia systematically represses its own people – most especially women. The monarchy places a particular emphasis on the suppression of religious freedom at home. As a result, Christians and other faith communities in the Kingdom risk imprisonment and gruesome corporal punishments, including decapitation.

The kingdom also promotes intolerance via its textbooks, mosques and madrassas overseas. A notorious example of such intolerance in practice was the gruesome murder last year in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey of Jamal Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Qatar has been assessed by Open Doors USA to engage in “heavy persecution” of Christians within its borders. And, through its generous financial underwriting and political support for supremacist organizations like ISIS and propaganda outlets like Al Jazeera, it promotes worldwide virulently intolerant practices towards those of other faiths and those who practice no faith at all.  

Surely, Squire Patton Boggs’ attorneys and advisors – including former House Speaker John Boehner and other prominent, retired American lawmakers – and your firm’s other clients, have no desire to be associated with, let alone involved in defending or otherwise being implicated in, these governments’ odious practices.

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


Mr. Frank J. Gaffney
President & CEO
Save the Persecuted Christians

The Hon. Frank R. Wolf

Former Member of Congress
Author of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act

Pastor Bob Fu
President & Founder


Mr. Omer Kanat


Uyghur Human Rights Project

Mr. Komi Elaiaiser


Nuba Mountains International Association

Mr. Greg Mitchell


International Religious Freedom Roundtable

Archbishop Foley Beach

Archbishop and Primate

Anglican Church in North America

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer

Free Indo-Pacific Alience

Mr. Eric Metaxas


The Eric Metaxas Show

Mr. Ngodup Tsering
U.S. Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Central Tibetan Administration, Office of Tibet, DC

Mr. Ryan Mauro
Director, National Security Analyst
Clarion Project

Mr. Kuzzat Altay

President & Founder
Uyghur Entrepreneurs Network

Ms. Faith J.H. McDonnell

International Religious Liberty Program 
& Church Alliance for a New Sudan

Institute on Religion & Democracy

Dr. Lily Zhang

Director, Government & Advocacy

Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) Assoc. of D.C.

Mr. Ibrahim Ahmed
President and Co-Founder
Beja Organization for Development and Human Rights

Mr. Kyle Olbert
Director of Operations
East Turkistan National Awakening Movement

Rev. Kevin Jessip


Global Strategic Alliance Ministries

Ms. Ann Buwalda
Executive Director
Jubilee Campaign USA

Mr. Eric Cohen


Act for Sudan

Investors Against Genocide

Ms. Dran Reese

The Salt and Light Council

Judeo Christian Caucus

Mr. Greg Young

Radio Host

Chosen Generation Radio Show

Ms. Kelly Monroe Kullberg
Founder, the American Association of Evangelicals (AAE)
Founder, the Veritas Forum

Ms. Elizabeth Yore, Esq


Yore Children

Ms. Maria Zack
Nations in Action

Mr. Dave Kubal

President & CEO

Intercessors for America

Mr. Jorge Parrott
Sidney and Helen Correll Missionary Ministries/CMM World

Mr. Mat Staver

Founder & Chairman

Liberty Counsel

Mr. Abdallla Babikir

Blue Nile Sudan

Rev. Mark DeMoss

Capitol Hill Baptist Church

Dr. Hormoz Shariat

Iran Alive

Mr. Stephen Enada

International Committee on Nigeria

Mrs. Alice Holland
Prayer Partner

Jubilee CC

Mr. Kevin D. Freeman
NSIC Institute

Mr. Edward Edman

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners

Mr. Allen Morris

Concerned Methodists

Ms. Melody Potter


West Virginia Republican Party

Mrs. Tia Nielsen
Founding Member

National Governors Prayer Team

Mr. Randy Gamble
CEO/Sr. Pastor
GetReal Ministries

Mrs. Susan DeMoss
Pastor’s Wife

Christian Heritage Academy

Mr. George Parker

Executive Director

Revealing Light Ministries

Dr. Bill Clark

Northwest Director

Peace Catalyst International

Mr. Mark Singer


Moral Action Ministry

Mrs. Kim Bongiorno

Moral Action Ministry

Dr. Oluwasayo Ajiboye
Mission Africa International

Richard Sribnick, MD
Darfur Action Group of South Carolina
Columbia, SC

Rev. Dr. Ben Sloan
Trinity South Sudan Ministry
Lexington, SC

Dr. Kaha Barat
Executive Director
Uyghur Voice

Tezcan Inanlar
Uyghur Entrepreneurs Network

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