The pastor, whose wife is American, has been sentenced to seven years for illegal border crossing between China and the non-recognized “Wa State” in Burma.
China Aid has launched an online petition asking the White House and the U.S. government to intensify their efforts to obtain from China the liberation of house church pastor John Cao, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence in Yunnan. Cao’s American wife, Jamie Powell, spoke on July 24 in the opening session of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, a gathering of foreign ministers of 82 countries organized by the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C.
Cao was arrested on March 5, 2017, under the charges of organizing the illegal border crossing of himself and others from China into the “Wa State.” In fact, the “Wa State,” with a population of 600,000, is an unrecognized entity created by pro-Chinese forces that de facto controls a region of Myanmar, with the support of China. It is also known as one of the largest Asian centers of drug trafficking.
Pastor Cao took care of the suffering population living within the border of the so-called Wa State, opening some 24 schools there and distributing humanitarian aid coming from Chinese Christians. He and his co-workers crossed the border dozens of times, but only on March 5, 2017, was he arrested.
The arrest and detention of Pastor Cao have been interpreted as part of China’s increasing crackdown on house churches, i.e., Protestant churches that are not affiliated with the government-controlled Three-Self Church. It is also a sign that China does not want anybody to report what is going on inside the so-called Wa State.
Source: China Aid and others