Save the Persecuted Christians Marks Tragic Anniversary of Massacre at Tiananmen Square
STPC Leaders Call on Prominent Law Firm to Cease Representation of Communist China a Known Persecutor of People of Faith
WASHINGTON—Thirty years ago, thousands were massacred at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
Mass protests had escalated in the weeks before, following the death of Hu Yaobang, a former Communist Party leader who had “worked to move China toward a more open political system and had become a symbol of democratic reform,” according to CNN. On May 19, 1.2 million gathered to rally at the square; that day, martial law was imposed.
Around 1 a.m. June 4, Chinese troops reached Tiananmen Square, and throughout the day, fired on civilians and students. An official death toll has never been released, although estimates range from several hundred to thousands. As many as 10,000 were arrested during and after the protests, and many have been executed for their parts in the demonstrations.
The massacre is remembered today by leaders of Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of hundreds of millions of Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide. STPC will join others at the U.S. Capitol for a rally on the west lawn at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to mark the 30th anniversary.
“Save the Persecuted Christians advocates for all those who are persecuted for their faith or beliefs,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians, “which is why the massacre on Tiananmen Square was so very tragic. Hundreds of young lives were cut short. These men and women were passionate about changing their world and would have undoubtedly gone on to make incredible impact. Still today, three decades after this tragedy, China has a terrible track record for persecution that is only getting worse.”
Save the Persecuted Christians stands with all faiths persecuted under the brutal CCP regime, including those who practice spiritual meditation known as Falun Gong. One Falun Gong family is taking its “fight to the Chinese government after they say their loved one was tortured and killed inside of a Chinese labor camp nearly 20 years ago” for these beliefs, according to a Fox News New York affiliate.
The communist government arrested and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, Fox further reported, and shipped them to labor camps where they were to be “re-educated.” By 1999, the Chinese government ordered the eradication of Falun Gong, calling it a “heretical” organization that “threatened social stability.” Read the story and view the video here.
Falun Gong practitioners and their families also joined Save the Persecuted Christians and dozens of other faith and civil society leaders to recently sign onto a letter calling on the prominent law firm Squire Patton Boggs, LLP, to stop lobbying for countries and entities involved in the persecution of people of faith—including Communist China, as well as Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These countries are known for gross violations of human rights and oppression of religious freedoms.
“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,” the letter read. “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.”
At no time in history have religious minorities been more oppressed and systematically persecuted, STPC reported. The U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom reports more than 80 percent of the world’s population, in a record number of countries, face oppression directly related to belief and religious practices. Among the worst of the perpetrators of such crimes against humanity are regimes represented by Squire Patton Boggs.
The group announced the letter May 1 during a news conference at the National Press Club. Today, nearly five weeks later, there has been no response from Squire Patton Boggs.
Christian persecution worldwide is illustrated through Save the Persecuted Christians’ traveling exhibit called “The People of the Cross,” which displays heartbreaking photos and facts about several countries where Christian persecution is commonplace. Each of the 24 banners feature images, facts and quotes from recent news stories about the persecution of Christians in multiple countries, such as China, where citizens are tracked, human rights lawyers and pastors are imprisoned and churches are demolished; North Korea, where Christians are tortured or worse; Syria, where Christian girls and women have been sold into sex slavery; and Nigeria where two of the world’s most violent terrorist groups surround and slaughter entire villages of Christians. A majority of the countries highlighted in the banners are high on the World Watch List, including China at No. 27.
The exhibit premiered in July 2018 at the U.S. Capitol as a side event to the first-ever U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Since then, it has toured the United States, reaching tens of thousands. “The People of the Cross” exhibit is available for churches, public venues and special events. To learn more about hosting “The People of the Cross,” contact Save the Persecuted Christians or visit the website, where panels are available to view online.
The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by holding the persecutors accountable and creating costs for their crimes against humanity. To that end, it will disseminate actionable information about the magnitude of such crimes and bring to bear a movement of concerned Americans determined to hold persecutors accountable for such crimes and create real costs for perpetrating them against those who follow Jesus.
According to Aid to the Church in Need, which released its biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World in November, over 300 million Christians experience persecution. According to Open Doors USA World Watch List, 245 million Christians are victims of high to extreme levels of persecution (i.e., torture, rape, sex-slavery, expulsion, murder and genocide), an increase of 14 percent over 2018. Open Doors also estimates 1 in 9 of the world’s Christians experience persecution and that every month: 345 Christians are killed, often in public and without regard to gender or age; 219 Christians are abducted and imprisoned indefinitely without trial; and 106 churches are demolished.
Because most of these crimes are not covered in the media, Save the Persecuted Christians developed a dedicated news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution and to provide readers an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.
With so much of the world’s Christian population being attacked, imprisoned and/or exiled for their beliefs, the need has never been greater for the sort of grassroots campaign STPC’s SaveUs Movement is working to foster. Its efforts are modeled after a miraculously successful one that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—by penalizing those in the Kremlin responsible for such repression. Through this movement, Save the Persecuted Christians endeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemically the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.