Pastor John Cao, a US permanent resident from Greensboro, from North Carolina, has been imprisoned in Chinese for close to two years after being convicted and sentenced by a Chinese court without any evidence against him.
He has faithfully served the people of China for decades, recently including the people of North Myanmar, providing much needed humanitarian help, as well as educational, and spiritual assistance.
He is in a 26 x 10 ft prison cell, with a dozen other prisoners who must all share the same 26 ft. slab as a bed – his section, only 1.6 feet wide.
Now, the trial court has postponed Cao’s appeal hearing for the fourth time, further violating his right to due process and fair trial and equal treatment under the law.
last March Cao was sentenced to seven years in prison for “organizing others to illegally cross the border” — a crime more commonly applied to human traffickers.
Cao and a fellow Christian teacher were arrested after coming back into China from neighboring Myanmar. They had been volunteering to teach at 16 schools in northern Myanmar which serve more than 2,000 students. Cao had been ferrying back and forth across a river which divides the countries for more than three years without any problems from either government.
While being held for a year followng his arrest, Cao was sentenced to seven years in prison by a Chinese court, despite a lack of evidence. The prosecutor only submitted written witness testimonies, and the pastor was denied the opportunity to cross examine witnesses or to provide rebuttal evidence.
Cao appealed his trial and conviction; however, he’s still waiting for his day in court. According to Chinese Criminal Procedural Laws, the appellate process shall be no longer than 2 months. But the pastor has been waiting for nine months.
He has lost more than 50 pounds and is experiencing several health issues. He is forbidden to have any visitors other than his attorneys.
Pastor Cao should not have to endure prison simply because he desires to live out his Christian faith. Christians all over the world should be free to teach, worship, and practice their Christian faith without fear of persecution or imprisonment – including in China.
Please pray for Pastor John and his family, and for justice to be done.