The communist rule of China, which began in 1949 with Mao Zedong, set the stage for what is known to be one of the world's worst countries for persecution in the past century. Christians, among other religious groups, have faced house arrest, imprisonment, torture, and even death, for their refusal to subject themselves to government control. Even churches that do agree to be state-monitored and registered are not exempt due to the severe restrictions imposed upon them.
The situation for Christians across China, the fourth largest country in the world, varies depending on location. Pastor John Cao, a Chinese pastor from North Carolina, has worked hard at the border between China and Myanmar to establish 16 schools which are providing educational resources to more than 2,000 children. In 2017, the Chinese government accused him of "organizing an illegal border crossing," in what many believe is an unjust framing because of Cao's religious beliefs as a Christian.
For almost a year, Cao and his co-worker, Jing Ruxia, were imprisoned without trial. On February 9th, 2018, Jing was released after a sentencing. Cao, however, was handed a seven-year sentence and fined about $3,000 USD
Today, Cao remains imprisoned and separated from his wife, Jamie, and his sons, who are living in the United States. On August 2nd, the advocacy organization, ChinaAid, is launching a petition for his release. Please join us in signing the petition here.
Remember Pastor Cao as he faithfully serves as a witness while imprisoned, seizing this opportunity to minister to both the prisoners and guards until his hopeful release. Pray that the international pressure placed on the Chinese government will bear positive results -- causing officials to free him, along with many others who are incarcerated for their faith.