China upholds 7-year prison sentence for US pastor who built schools for 2,000 children

July 27, 2019

This news item concerns a Protestant pastor who has been sentenced to prison for the crime of crossing the China-Myanmar border — a crime that usually is charged to human traffickers. This case has ominous implications for Christians of all faith traditions. As we have shown here with numerous news articles over the past few months, the Chinese government is now acting swiftly against all Christian Churches and organizations that are not officially recognized by the government. That includes China’s small but courageous Orthodox Christian community. The Order earnestly hopes that international human rights organizations will take up the plight of the Christians of China, and that the UN and US State Department and all other nations that are committed to freedom will do all they can to prevail upon the Chinese government to reverse these policies and grant religious freedom to the Christians and all people of that nation. Please pray, in the meantime, that the Christians of China will be blessed in their faith, and will be given the strength to walk the path through the crucifixion they are undergoing to the Resurrection in our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.

“China upholds 7-year prison sentence for US pastor who built schools for 2,000 children,” by Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post, July 26, 2019:

China has announced its decision to uphold a North Carolina pastor’s seven-year prison sentence for “organizing illegal border crossings” — a crime more commonly applied to human traffickers — despite his appeal.

Pastor John Cao, who along with a fellow Christian teacher allegedly crossed the China-Myanmar border last March, filed an appeal for being wrongfully convicted of “organizing illegal border crossings” in 2018.

After postponing Cao’s hearing several times, a court in China’s Yunnan province announced on July 25 it had decided to uphold the sentence, persecution watching group International Christian Concern reported.

The court was “surrounded by a heavy police presence,” according to China Aid, which also noted that Cao’s 83-year-old mother and his sister, along with their lawyer, were allowed to hear the verdict….