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John Cao - Photo: Ben Cao
John Cao
Photo: Ben Cao

In March 2017, Cao San-Qiang (John Cao) was detained and accused of "organizing illegal border crossings" between Myanmar and China. Pastor Cao, who is married to an American citizen, has been a long-time resident of North Carolina. Well known for his humanitarian work among the poor in Myanmar's Wa State, he has built 16 schools that serve 2,000 impoverished children.

Pastor Cao was arrested and detained, along with a co-worker, for almost a year without charges. He was eventually sentenced to seven years in prison. In July of last year, his latest appeal was rejected based solely on written submissions.

A few days ago, Pastor Cao was finally allowed to meet with his mother via a video link, rather than in person, due to pandemic restrictions. His mother reports that he looks well and is presently not doing any field work, allowing him time to read and interact with other inmates. Pastor Cao also told her that he is praying daily for his brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as everything that is taking place in the world.

More information on Pastor Cao's case can be reviewed here. For reports on other cases of persecution, go to our China Country Report.

Please continue to lift up Pastor Cao in your prayers, asking God to provide him and other imprisoned believers renewed strength as they eagerly await their deliverance. In the interim, may their interactions with fellow inmates be mightily used to lead more people to a saving faith in Christ. Praise God for the encouraging report that Pastor Cao is in good health. Pray for his wife Jamie and their two sons, Benjamin and Amos, who are living in the United States, and also for his dear mother.

Current Ministry Projects

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians in the country, making it possible for them to have their own printed version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, while presenting ways to effectively respond and minister within the context of hostility.

Project Funds: Bibles, Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information


1,397,897,720 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Han Chinese (91.6), Zhuang (1.3), Other (7.1)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (18.3), Christianity (5.2), Islam (1.8), folk religion (21.9), Muslim (2) Hinduism (<0.1), Judaism (<0.1), other (0.7), unaffiliated (51.8)

President Xi Jinping (2013)

Government type
Communist party-led state

Legal system
Based on civil law system; influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for China

Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout China without government interference so many more names can be added to the Lamb's "Book of Life." May there also be a spirit of unity demonstrated among the country's growing churches, further strengthening existing believers and spurring them on in their ministry service and evangelistic outreach within the country's numerous communities.


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