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05/03/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – Today marks the 59th birthday of Chinese Pastor John Sanqiang Cao, yet he will spend it for third year straight incarcerated in China’s Yunnan province, without the company of his family and friends.

The Chinese pastor, known for his work among Myanmar’s underprivileged communities in Wa state, was arrested and charged with “organizing illegal crossings of national borders” in 2017. One year later, the authorities sentenced him to seven years in prison.

The trial court in China has repeatedly postponed Cao’s appeal hearing. His hearing, postponed for the sixth time in March, was due to take place on March 22, but the Pu’er Court in Yunnan province further delayed it to May 22.

Since his imprisonment, Cao has lost more than 50 pounds and is experiencing several health issues. He is forbidden to have any visitors other than his attorneys. His family attempted to visit him many times, only to no avail.

According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the postponement violates Cao’s right to due process, a fair trial and equal treatment under the law. The U.S. government has also called on Beijing to immediately release Pastor Cao.

Prayers for fair treatment and the imminent release of Pastor Cao are much needed.

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