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Pastor Who Was Allegedly Harassed By Secret Service For Praying Outside A Chinese Embassy Wins Dispute

The ACLJ achieved a legal win regarding freedom of speech in what they claim emphasized to the Biden Administration that its duty is to serve the American citizens and uphold the Constitution, rather than giving in to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to the ACLJ, Reverend Pat Mahoney, an American minister, was involved in a peaceful protest and prayer outside the Chinese Embassy, and there was a near-arrest by the Biden Secret Service. Mahoney is the Director of the Christian Defense Coalition and has organized around 300 demonstrations outside the embassy of the Communist nation to protest against its human rights abuses. 

It is reported that none of these demonstrations have resulted in any incidents. However, in February, upon arriving to protest, Mahoney reportedly encountered Secret Service agents who informed them that protesting was not allowed in that location and that they would face arrest if they proceeded to do so. Rev. Mahoney was informed that Chinese officials had claimed ownership of the sidewalk outside the embassy when he asked for clarification. The Secret Service was also involved in this matter. The agents who represent Biden supported the decision.


At that point, Rev. Mahoney contacted the ACLJ. The ACLJ expressed concern that the Secret Service under President Biden's administration may have been willing to prioritize the statements of foreign nationals from an adversarial nation over the constitutional rights of a U.S. citizen who was peacefully protesting.

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According to them, the Chinese officials made a statement that some may consider unreasonable, and it could be argued that the Secret Service should have evaluated it further. Sidewalks in America are recognized as public forums where individuals can exercise their right to free speech, as established by the Constitution and previous Supreme Court rulings. Rev. Mahoney's act of praying and protesting falls within his constitutional rights as an American citizen.

The ACLJ drafted a legal demand letter and delivered it to the Secret Service, stating that the agents were incorrect in their assertions about the property and their threat to arrest Rev. Mahoney. The sidewalk is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Constitution as it is American property, irrespective of the nearby embassy's ownership, and is not governed by the CCP.

According to the letter, there is a concern that agents of the U.S. Secret Service may not be aware of Rev. Mahoney's constitutional rights, which could lead to a similar incident happening again.

 According to the ACLJ, Rev. Mahoney has gone back to the Chinese Embassy to protest following the receipt of the letter. He was not arrested and did not encounter any Secret Service agent. The agency appears to have recognized that the Chinese government does not control the areas where freedom of speech is exercised.

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