Pastor John Cao ( pronounced Chow) is serving a seven-year prison sentence in China. He was detained on 5 March 2017 while returning to China from Myanmar held for almost a year before being charged with “organising illegal border crossings”, a charge usually made against human traffickers.
John, whose Chinese name is Cao Sanqiang, felt called to spend time in China, serving the poor and especially children. He has been a US permanent resident since 1990, but has chosen not to become an American citizen because he wants to remain a Chinese citizen so that the Chinese government cannot refuse him entry into China.
He spent over two decades helping to establish schools in central and southern China, and in 2014 became involved in aid work in neighbouring Myanmar, where he set up 16 schools for over 2,000 impoverished ethnic minority children in Wa State in the north of the country. He also organised food and clothing donation programmes for the Wa and Kachin ethnic minorities in the region. He made regular trips into Myanmar to visit the schools, bringing volunteer Chinese Christian teachers from his schools in China. He was arrested on what was to be his last trip before retiring.
The European Centre for Law and Justice has made representations on his behalf in Geneva, not just because of the unjust and illegal sentencing, but because he is being denied and individual bed, visitation rights, adequate nutrition and medical treatment. You can sign their petition at https://aclj.org/help-free-christian-pastor-cao
LATEST NEWS (MARCH 2021): Pastor John’s defence lawyer Yang Hui and his mother Sun Jinhuai had their recent requests to the prison authorities to deliver a Bible to him refused. On 5th March the prison rejected his mother’s request to visit him, because of the pandemic.
You can hear his son talk about him by clicking to watch the video below.