Date: February 9, 2018
(Pu’er, Yunnan—Feb. 9, 2018) The trial of a North Carolina pastor and his co-worker commenced today in China’s southwestern Yunnan province.
Throughout the proceedings, which lasted from 9:00-11:30 a.m., Lawyer Liu Peifu defended Pastor John Cao by telling the court that he often crossed the border between Myanmar and China to help poor minority children in Myanmar’s Wa State receive an education. Liu added that because of Cao’s efforts, the minority community is thankful towards the Chinese people.
Cao is well-renowned in that area of Myanmar for establishing 16 schools, providing educational resources to more than 2,000 children. Since the border between Myanmar and China has little regulation, he used to pass through with no incident.
However, the prosecution accused Cao of “organizing an illegal border crossing” and pinned an “illegal border crossing” charge to his colleague, Jing Ruxia, who was brought into custody with him on March 5 as they were attempting to enter China from Myanmar.
Shortly after, Cao’s relatives received a detention notice from the Menglian County Public Security Bureau, and his arrest warrant was formally approved by the procuratorate 20 days later. On July 13, his mother, identified only by her surname, Sun, said that the case had been transferred to the procuratorate for prosecution.
Sun, who attended the trial, said her son looked well and hopes for a fair hearing. However, China is notorious for discriminating against Christians in their trials, framing masses of innocent people for crimes they did not commit in order bring the religion under Communist control.
In addition to his educational work, Cao founded a church in Hunan, his home province, and serves as a pastor for China Ministries International. His previous humanitarian work includes helping students and victims rebuild their lives after a devastating earthquake tore through Wenchuan, Sichuan in 2008 and setting up schools for impoverished children in Pu’er, where he is now being held.
Cao married Jamie Powell, an American citizen, in 1988, and he became North Carolina resident. Powell still lives in the United States, along with the couple’s two sons.
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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