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John Cao
Photo: ChinaAid

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.

Current Ministry Projects

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians in the country, making it possible for them to have their own printed version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, while presenting ways to effectively respond and minister within the context of hostility.

Project Funds: Bibles, Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information


1,397,897,720 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Han Chinese (91.6), Zhuang (1.3), Other (7.1)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (18.3), Christianity (5.2), Islam (1.8), folk religion (21.9), Muslim (2) Hinduism (<0.1), Judaism (<0.1), other (0.7), unaffiliated (51.8)

President Xi Jinping (2013)

Government type
Communist party-led state

Legal system
Based on civil law system; influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for China

Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout China without government interference so many more names can be added to the Lamb's "Book of Life." May there also be a spirit of unity demonstrated among the country's growing churches, further strengthening existing believers and spurring them on in their ministry service and evangelistic outreach within the country's numerous communities.


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