Rev. John Sanqiang Cao, a Chinese Pastor who was caught teaching people in Myanmar about the Bible, and who had led a humanitarian mission for years helping depressed people, women, and children in Myanmar, was jailed for seven years with hard labour by Chinese authorities.
The 58-year-old pastor received the sentence after he was caught on a return trip to Myanmar where he had gone to deliver Bibles and other Christian literature.
Upon his return to China, he was tried privately, and sentenced to 7 years in jail.
China has made it a criminal offense for anyone caught teaching people about the Bible, and has considered Christianity as a cult religion in some provinces.
In essence, many analysts have proclaimed that China sees Christianity as a threat to its communist rule.
But even though the Pastor’s religious work is said to have been concentrated outside of China and across the border, Chinese authorities frown upon the fact that the bibles were smuggled through China.
Since his arrest, his American sons and other Christian Colleagues have been barred from speaking with him, and do not know anything about his whereabouts or at which prison he is being held.
US President Donald Trump has so far refused to intervene.
Nonetheless, the Pastor’s family are hoping that the Chinese government would show some mercy and reduce his sentence because of the years of humanitarian work that he has done in China and many other countries in Asia.
Chinese prison conditions are often described as harsh, while authorities there have been accused of grooming religious prisoners into a state of insanity, thus making them mentally detached upon release.
“Nothing my father organized was ever political. It was always just religious or charitable,” said Ben Cao, the pastor’s 23-year-old son, a U.S. citizen living in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We hope that China will be merciful, and see that my father’s intentions were good.”