North Carolina pastor sentenced to 7 years in China's prisons

Friday, March 23, 2018

John Cao
(Photo: ChinaAid)

(Pu’er, Yunnan—March 23, 2018) A court in China’s southern Yunnan province sentenced a North Carolina pastor to seven years in prison today and heavily fined him on a trumped up charge of “organizing illegal border crossing.” His colleague also received a one-year jail sentence and a fine.

John Cao, a North Carolina pastor well-respected for building 16 schools that service 2,000 impoverished minority children in Myanmar’s northern Wa State, and his co-worker, a Christian named Jing Ruxia, crossed the China-Myanmar border last March. As a result, officials charged both of them with “organizing illegal border crossing,” even though they have crossed the border many times before with no previous issues.

After spending nearly a year in police custody, Cao was tried on Feb. 9, 2018. According to the verdict, Cao will spend the next seven years behind bars and is expected to pay a 20,000 yuan ($3,000 USD) fine, and Jing received a one-year sentence and a 5,000 yuan (approximately $792.00 USD).

Since Jing has already been held in custody for a year, she has been released.

In 1998, Cao married Jamie Powell, an American citizen. Powell and the couple’s two sons still reside in the United States, where Cao is also a resident.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by Cao and Jing, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

ChinaAid Media Team
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