Today, May 3, 2019, is Pastor Cao’s 60th birthday, but he won’t be celebrating with family and friends, or eating cake, or opening presents. Instead, this day marks the 790th day that Pastor Cao has been wrongfully imprisoned in China.
Pastor Cao is still awaiting his appeal hearing, which by China’s own law should have occurred almost a year ago. Instead, the court simply keeps unjustly extending the hearing, forcing Pastor Cao to remain in a detention center built for temporary confinement. Therefore, as we have previously reported, he is not afforded even the most basic rights.
And just what is Pastor Cao’s crime? Living out his Christian faith, caring and providing for the less fortunate. He was simply following China’s own One Belt, One Road policy, assisting the Wa State, in Northern Burma, with poverty alleviation and education. Work he did openly and without a problem before both governments.
Pastor Cao has been assisting the poor in China and surrounding areas for over two decades. In fact, China awarded him for these efforts when he established the Yangmeng Elementary School in a very remote and poor village in Guizhou. In an official declaration, the Chinese government praised Pastor Cao stating, “You invested in the education with your love for the children and this generous deed will last forever and pass to generations.” Apparently, China now feels that Pastor Cao’s investment in the education of and love for children, is criminal.
So, China continues to unjustly imprison an innocent man all because he desired to live out his faith and help others. That, in itself is bad enough, but China will not even allow him to see his family. The Appeal Court has denied the visitation request by Pastor Cao’s mother, who is in her 80s and wanted to visit her son on his 60th birthday. Earlier, the trial court denied a visitation request by the U.S. State Department, through the Chengdu Consulate, for Pastor Cao’s wife and son, who had travelled all the way to Menglian to see him. This game has gone on too long. It has been over two years that this family has been unjustly separated. It’s time for Pastor Cao to be released, but at the very least, he should be allowed to see his family.
We have taken his case to Capitol Hill and the United Nations. Now, we are taking it to China, requesting visitation for his family and justice for Pastor Cao. There is strength in numbers. China must know that the world is watching and does not approve of this injustice. Please join with us as we demand justice for Pastor Cao.
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