The Chinese Communist Party is rounding up Christians in “secretive, mobile transformation facilities” and demanding that they reject their faith, according to a report from Radio Free Asia.
Using multiple state-run agencies, the proudly atheist communist regime has raided house churches in multiple regions including in the southwest and held Christians captive in facilities where some victims say they were “beaten, verbally abused and mentally tortured by staff.”
“It was a mobile facility, that could just set up in some basement somewhere. It was staffed by people from several different government departments,” said a man with the pseudonym Li Yuese, a Christian who was imprisoned for 10 months in a “windowless room” after the CCP raided his church in 2018. “They threaten, insult, and intimidate you. These were United Front officials, men, women, sometimes unidentified, usually in plain clothes. The police turn a blind eye to this.”
Many of the people Li was held with, he said, “hadn’t done anything that could trigger any criminal prosecution” so they were forced into “transformation facilities” with “no windows, no ventilation, no time allowed outside” and limited meals. Authorities at these facilities reportedly sent those who refused to “admit their mistakes” into “solitary confinement for prolonged periods” and subjected them to beatings.
“They were using brainwashing methods on those of us who were on bail from the detention center,” Li said, noting that “there is no time limit for the brainwashing process.”
Similar camps are situated all around China, the report stated, and seem to target Catholics as well as Protestants who have operated underground churches for years. One lawyer, Zhang, who is familiar with the persecution, said many targets of the raids were never prosecuted.
“They just disappeared them, sometimes for five, six, or even 10 years at a stretch,” he explained. “Some were sent back home after five or six years, and that was how people learned about the brainwashing centers — from their accounts.”
The communist regime has increasingly cracked down on Christians in China as part of Xi Jinping’s five-year “sinifying religion” plan. Not only does the CCP demand Buddhist, Islamic, Taoist, and Christian churches integrate “popular cultural forms” such as art into their religious services and facilities, but the regime also began penalizing “confusing and poisonous” support for house churches, most of them Christian, in 2018 with fines, restrictions on “religious training abroad,” and bans on the “infiltration of Western hostile forces.”
China has also been committing genocide against the Uyghurs, a minority Muslim population located in the Xinjiang province in China, for years. In addition to imprisoning more than 1 million people in Xinjiang, the CCP has also forced Uyghurs to do labor and become sterilized, and it has subjected many of them to torture.
Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.