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John Cao with his family.
John Cao with his mother (second from the right),
wife and two sons before his arrest.
Photo: ChinaAid

While John Cao, a Chinese pastor from North Carolina, was working along the border between China and Myanmar, he established 16 schools – providing education to more than 2,000 children. However, in 2017, the Chinese government accused him of "organizing illegal border crossings" between the two countries. In 2018, he was sentenced to seven years in prison, along with a fine (see this report).

One of the most difficult challenges facing Christian prisoners in China is being forced to endure prolonged periods of separation from their family members. In Pastor John's case, his elderly mother, Sun Jinhuan, had not been allowed to see him since the pandemic began in 2019. It was therefore with great joy that she was finally permitted to visit him in prison on February 7th. She reported that police officers treated her with special honour by ushering her near the front of the line and providing assistance as she climbed the stairs to the visitation area.

After meeting with her imprisoned son – a visit that she felt was far too short – the elderly saint was able to declare: "Today God helped me accomplish a huge thing. My heart is full of joy." During their time together, she gave Pastor John news of the family and passed along messages of support from many concerned believers around the world. Upon hearing these encouraging messages, Pastor John replied: "Please tell fellow brothers and sisters from all over the world that I am healthy. Please, don't worry about me."

Praise God that this elderly mother and her imprisoned son were finally able to joyfully meet! Pray that their family will experience continued strength, patience and enduring hope as they await Pastor John's release. God-willing, may this faithful Christian leader be able to reunite with his mother outside of the prison institution once he is released. In the meantime, may he seize every opportunity to boldly testify of Christ to prison officials and fellow prisoners during his incarceration. The same applies to the many other Christian prisoners who are presently detained throughout China. May God provide each one of them ongoing guidance, encouragement and perseverance so they will remain steadfast in their faith and ministry.

Current Ministry Projects

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

Project Funds: Bible (Distribution), 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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