White House Petition Urges Release of North Carolina Pastor Imprisoned in China for Over a Year

Pastor John Cao speaking in this undated photo before his imprisonment in China based on charges of illegal border crossings.

A U.S.-based persecution watchdog group has launched an official White House petition urging the release of a North Carolina pastor imprisoned in China.

The petition, launched on Thursday on the We the People website, is in support of John Cao, who was been held in Chinese jail for over a year.

“While working to build schools for impoverished children in Myanmar, John was detained at the Chinese border on March 5, 2017. Twenty days later, he was charged with ‘organizing illegal border crossing,’ despite the fact that he had used the same route between China and Myanmar for this humanitarian work for years,” explains in the petition ChinaAid, the watchdog group.

“In three years, John helped build 16 schools that serve more than 2,000 children. He was unfairly sentenced to seven years in a Chinese prison.”

The text calls on America to “pressure the Communist Party to unconditionally release Pastor John Cao and allow him to return home to America to see his wife and sons again.”

Ben Cao, the pastor’s son, told The Associated Press back in April that nothing that his father did was ever political.

“We hope that China will be merciful and see that my father’s intentions were good,” he pleaded.

Cao, who was caught by Chinese security forces on March 5, 2017, apparently managed to throw away his cellphone into the water while on a raft returning from Yunnan province as part of his school-building efforts. His actions managed to protect 50 other Christian teachers, though he himself was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The pastor has in the past shared that he was inspired by a very famous North Carolinian, namely the late evangelist Billy Graham, whose radio broadcasts stirred in him a desire to minister to the Chinese people.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov