We recently told you how we filed a written submission at the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) to present the current plight of Christian Pastor and U.S. Permanent Resident John Cao.
This week we have been conducting high level meetings at the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland. Today we accompanied Pastor Cao’s wife Jamie as she bravely appeared before the U.N. HRC to share firsthand how her husband peacefully served the poor in China and Burma, and how he has been wrongfully incarcerated because of his Christian faith.
I am here today on behalf of my husband, Pastor Cao San Qiang, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, who for the past two years has been wrongfully imprisoned in China for simply living out his faith.
I know my husband, as only a wife can. He is not a criminal, he is a peaceful, caring pastor and humanitarian worker, who has a compassionate heart. His humanitarian efforts in China are so well respected, that even the Chinese government had previously recognized and rewarded them. That is why his imprisonment for these same efforts is so absurd.
During her impassioned presentation, Jamie pointed out how she and her children have been denied being able to see her husband or speak with him directly. She also mentioned his deteriorating health which has caused him to lose an alarming amount of weight in prison.
However, despite his suffering, she spoke of his steadfast faith, even in the face of another five years behind bars And most importantly, she was able to lift up the name of Jesus on the world stage.
We traveled to China to try to see my husband, but my sons and I have not been allowed to see or speak with him directly. His health is deteriorating, and he has lost 50 pounds. He is confined to a crowded cell, as he waits for an appeal hearing that the court repeatedly and unjustly delays.
Last year, my husband reflected on his imprisonment and wrote: “Like the Apostle Paul, I have learned how to live a rich and simple life. Now I live a free life even though I am without freedom. As long as the name of Jesus can be proclaimed, the bitterness of the flesh and blood is not worth mentioning.”
As we recently told you, Pastor Cao has just passed the two year mark in prison. As his wife said, he is not a criminal. China unjustly sentenced him to 7 years in prison for publicly living out his Christian faith.
Jamie finished her speech urging the international community to stand up and take action to pressure China for Pastor Cao’s release so that he can return home to his family.
But two years of suffering is too long. I am here today with the support of over 150,000 individuals from 162 countries and territories who have signed a petition to plead for the freedom of my husband and his right to freely practice his faith. I respectfully ask that you make any and all efforts to secure his release and safe return to the United States to be reunited with our family.
The ACLJ continues to represent Jamie and their two sons. We will not stop working on his behalf here at home on Capitol Hill, and at the United Nations, until he is freed from prison and returned home safely to North Carolina where he can be reunited with his family.
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