Christian actor Siaka Massaquoi says 'collective grace' sustained him during recent Jan. 6 arrest

Siaka Massaquoi
Siaka Massaquoi | YouTube/PragerU

Actor Siaka Massaquoi says his Christian faith has sustained him during his years-long battle with the U.S. Department of Justice over his presence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Massaquoi, who is also the first vice chair of the Los Angeles County Republican Party, was arrested by FBI agents at Hollywood Burbank Airport on Nov. 30 upon returning from the Nashville premiere of The Daily Wire's new movie "Lady Ballers," in which he plays a role.

The arrest came more than two years after the FBI raided his home in June 2021.

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Massaquoi was charged with four misdemeanors, including trespassing, disorderly conduct and parading or demonstrating in a Capitol building. He spent a night in jail before being released on bond on Dec. 1.

In an interview with The Christian Post, he said that during this time, he was encouraged by God's provision, the outpouring of support and the "collective grace" he received from his fellow Christians as he fights what he believes to be political persecution.

'I knew there was something off'

When he traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, to attend then-President Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally, Massaquoi remembered that after returning to his hotel room following Trump's speech at the Ellipse, he went to the U.S. Capitol upon seeing news coverage he thought was inaccurate.

"I see the news reporting it not like how I saw it when I left," he remembered. "It was peaceful. Everyone was having fun or marching over singing and laughing, so I put on my shoes to go find a camera crew to stand behind them and say that they're lying."

After making the 30-minute walk from his hotel to the Capitol, Massaquoi joined a cohort of people peacefully singing the national anthem but also noticed masked men grabbing other men and pushing them forward while not leading the way themselves.

"I knew there was something off about that," he said. "I knew there was just something wrong."

Massaquoi, who had attended a Trump rally in Beverly Hills weeks earlier during which left-wing protesters clashed with Trump supporters, said he saw Antifa militants from the crowd decked out in Trump gear that day.

"I see a few of those kids that I saw before, now dressed in pro-USA Trump stuff, screaming on our side of the partition, screaming at Antifa, calling them names, trying to get us riled up on our side," he said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray has denied claims from Republicans and Trump that Antifa infiltrated the crowd on Jan. 6, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2021 that the FBI "have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to Antifa in connection with the 6th."

Adamant that he did nothing wrong, Massaquoi said footage he recorded shows him crossing the threshold of a door for 71 seconds after two masked men beckoned him in. He said he cooperated with law enforcement while assisting to direct traffic out the door.

Given that mobs had "burned cities to the ground" in 2020 and the fact that so many people had recorded what took place that day, he said it never crossed his mind that the "narrative" of Jan. 6 would become what it has.

'It smells like a persecution'

Massaquoi said he believes he has been tracked by federal law enforcement over the past two years and even before. However, he noted that agents waited to arrest him in a dramatic public display at the airport two weeks ago to make a point.

Five months after Jan. 6, approximately 20 FBI agents raided Massaquoi's home in California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Massaquoi told CP that agents confiscated his laptop, phone and even his MAGA hats, which suggested to him that "something else was going on."

"It smells like a persecution," he said.

"I've been getting searched at the airport every single time I fly — not once at TSA, but twice at TSA and the gate. They track me. They know my phone calls. They know all this stuff for two years, and then they come and they pull me off the tarmac away from my wife. What else could it be [but political persecution]?"

"I'm not a violent person. I've never been a violent person," he said. "I'm not a criminal and have never been charged with a bunch of crimes. But they moved on me in such a way that you would have thought that I was an infamous drug runner. You would have thought that I trafficked children."

During the night he spent in jail on Nov. 30, Massaquoi said he loudly recited the Lord's Prayer from his cell and managed to share his faith with the agents who arrested him.

Massaquoi grew emotional recounting how, as he was shuffled in chains through the courtroom for his bond hearing the next day, about 15 of his friends were there to support him, including the pastor who married him.

Many were from his church at Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks and had traveled a long way.

He said his friends stood up when he entered the courtroom, which he described as "one thing that visually just blew me away." He said he felt the need to "keep it together" to keep strong for them.

Siaka Massaquoi hugs friends after his release while wearing the 'Jesus Saves' shirt he wore during his bond hearing.
Siaka Massaquoi hugs friends after his release while wearing the "Jesus Saves" shirt he wore during his bond hearing. | Siaka Massaquoi

"It really just blew me away that Christ's people, when active, can be so powerful," he said.

After he appeared before the judge wearing a shirt that says "Jesus Saves," he was released on $1,000 bond, though he still faces restrictions on his travel and is awaiting an arraignment.

"They're going all in," he said of the federal government. "So I have to be prepared mentally, emotionally and financially as much as I can to just be ready for them. But most importantly, I just lean continually on the Lord, and He's taking care of me."

In addition to the Christians who have rallied around him, Massaquoi also received a torrent of support from figures such as Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing, who wrote: "Siaka is a good man and a huge talent. The FBI arresting a man at the airport three years after the event — and after raiding his house and not charging him already — and then only charging him with misdemeanors is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard."

Actress Gina Carano called Massaquoi's treatment "disturbing and WRONG," and Babylon Bee's Seth Dillon described his arrest as "political persecution [that] can't be allowed to continue."

X CEO Elon Musk tweeted simply: "This has gone too far."

'I don't regret it'

Despite his ordeal, Massaquoi said he doesn't regret having gone into the Capitol on Jan. 6. He believes the fallout from that day has exposed the tactics of the Democratic Party, drawn him closer to God, and shown him who his true friends are.

"It sucks, the things that have happened, but I don't regret it because I'm looking at it and seeing everything [else] that's happened, what it's done," he said. "There are people in my life, my mom included, where it's opened their eyes to a lot of what the Democratic Party is about. And that's a good thing."

Recent years have also "pushed me closer to the Word specifically; not just to God, but to the Word itself, so I can hear and see what He's about," he said. Earlier this year, he wed his wife, Charlotte Young Massaquoi, with whom he is expecting their first child.

Massaquoi, who has lived in Hollywood since 2004, also noted how readily people in that town will abandon someone at the first whiff of controversy.

"The friends that you have disappear, because I've seen it happen," he said. "Then when something like this happens on the other side, the friends that you really have show up, and now I know that. I didn't know that before. None of this happens if I didn't go to the Capitol."

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