Beijing [China], April 8 (ANI): Authorities in China are detaining Christians in secretive, mobile "transformation" facilities to make them renounce their faith by using brainwashing methods, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Li Yuese, a member of a Christian "house church" in the Sichuan province, said that he was held in a facility run by the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) United Front Work Department for 10 months in 2018.
"It (The facility) had its own (CCP) political and legal affairs committee working group, and they mainly target Christians who are members of house churches," he said, adding that he was detained in a windowless room, where he was beaten, verbally abused and 'mentally tortured' by staff, resorting to self-harm at one point.
"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," Li said.
Alleging that he and his fellow inmates were detained for participating in church-related activities, Li said that the authorities used brainwashing techniques on those who were bailed from the detention centre and inmates who refused to admit their "mistakes" were sent to solitary confinement for prolonged periods.
"Four or five of them grabbed me by the arms and legs and pinned me to the ground. They then injected me with some drug, and brought me back to consciousness," he said.
According to RFA, the CCP exercises tight controls over any form of religious practice among its citizens. The party regards Christianity as a dangerous foreign import with party documents warning against the "infiltration of Western hostile forces" in the form of religion.
Another Christian who asked to remain anonymous informed that similar facilities are being used across China for members of the underground Catholic church.
A lawyer surnamed Zhang said that after the arrests of bishops and priests, they simply disappeared, sometimes for even ten years at a stretch.
"Some were sent back home after five or six years, and that was how people learned about the brainwashing centers -- from their accounts," Zhang said.
China is home to an estimated 68 million Protestants, of whom 23 million worship in state-affiliated churches under the aegis of the Three-Self Patriotic Association, and some nine million Catholics, the majority of whom are in state-sponsored organizations, reported RFA. (ANI)