FBI Agents Visit the Home and Question Nationally Known Christian Activist and Outspoken Critic of President Obama's Human Rights and Social Justice Record
August 21, 2009
WASHINGTON, (christiansunite.com) -- Agents came to the home of the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition to question him and "gather intelligence" about his laying roses at the Chinese Embassy on June 4th.
On June 4th, Rev. Mahoney and his daughter Kaitlin held a prayer vigil and peacefully laid roses in front of the Chinese Embassy on the 20th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
The purpose of the vigil was to honor and remember the heroic students who were brutalized in Tiananmen Square and to pray that the Chinese government would protect and honor human rights and religious liberty.
The Christian Defense Coalition is troubled that an American citizen would be visited and questioned at his home by federal agents for simply praying in the public square and peacefully exercising his First Amendment rights.
What makes the situation even more disturbing is the fact that Rev. Mahoney has led over 40 peaceful demonstrations outside of the Chinese Embassy for the past 20 years and has never been questioned by any federal or local law enforcement officials.
The Christian Defense Coalition has asked the American Center for Law and Justice to file a Freedom of Information Act request in an attempt to get the bottom of why the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent agents to the home of an American citizen to gather intelligence about protected First Amendment activities.
Rev. Mahoney wants to stress his concerns are not with the agents who questioned him, they were professional and courteous. Rather, his struggles are with those who ordered the agents to his house.
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,
"I was deeply troubled last week when I answered the door of my home around 10:00 A.M. and had two agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation saying they wanted to talk with me. They stated the purpose of their visit was to question me and 'gather intelligence' about my activities at the Chinese Embassy on June 4th.
"Those activities included holding a prayer vigil and laying roses at the Embassy to honor the students who were killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre 20 years ago. We also wanted to pray that the Chinese government would honor and protect human rights and civil liberties in their country.
"I was stunned to have federal agents show up at my door to question me and gather intelligence about protected First Amendment activities and for the simple act of laying flowers in the public square.
"I have led over 40 peaceful demonstrations at the Chinese Embassy during the past 20 years and never had any visits or questions from law enforcement officials. Why now and why didn't they just call?
"There are several key questions that must be addressed:
Who ordered the agents to come to my house and question me and why?
Why would they come now when all I did was lay flowers and pray in front of the Embassy?
Why would the FBI want to gather intelligence and question an American citizen who was peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights?
Was there any political agenda to the visit?
"It is our desire to get to the bottom of this through our Freedom of Information Act request.
"My prayer is that I was not visited and questioned because I have been an outspoken critic of President Obama's lack of commitment to human rights around the world especially in China and Iran, his failure to reach out to the poor and needy of this nation and embrace social justice, his disregard for civil liberties and his failure to protect America's innocent unborn children.
"President Obama you were once a community activist. I hope you will embrace that legacy and not the one of Richard Nixon."