Chinese Christians Forced To Renounce Faith In Secretive, Mobile Brainwashing Camps, Report Says

CCTV installed on the streets of China
CCTV installed on the streets of China. © Open Doors

There's no end to the Chinese Communist Party's systematic brainwashing as recent report reveals hidden facilities where Christians are held.

In their report, Radio Free Asia (RFA) states that Chinese Christians arrested and detained by authorities were often subjected to physical and psychological tortures in an attempt to make them renounce their faith.

Having the monopoly in coercive power in China's political system, the Chinese Communist Party would not tolerate dissent, hence their attempts to crush any religious belief that denounces the party's views.

RFA added that the CCP under Xi Jinping has labeled Christianity as "a dangerous foreign import." So to prevent what the party deemed as the "infiltration of Western hostile forces in the form of religion," they have executed crackdowns on Christian churches that would not submit to the CCP-backed Three-Self Patriotic Association.

The Brainwashing Session

Li Yuese (not his real name), who is a member of a Christian "house church" in the southwestern province of Sichuan, recounted his experience at the facility. His church was among those raided by the state security police in 2018.

Li was detained for 10 months in what he described as a "mobile facility" that could just be set up in a basement.

"It was staffed by people from several different government departments," Li said.

"It had its own (CCP) political and legal affairs committee working group, and they mainly target Christians who are members of house churches," Li added.

Li explained that he and his fellow inmates could not be prosecuted, so they were sent to the "transformation" facilities.

"There is no time limit for the brainwashing process," he said.

"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 continued. "You have to accept the statement they prepare for you. If you refuse, you will be seen as having a bad attitude and they will keep you in detention and keep on beating you."

Even after his release, Li remains haunted by the memories of that awful experience.

Another Christian, who requested to not be identified, told RFA that other religious groups were also targeted and likewise sent to these transformation facilities.

Based on the accounts of those detained for several years, Zhang, a lawyer from the northern province of Hebei who have represented several Catholic detainees, suspects that these brainwashing facilities have been around China for a long time.

"After the religious affairs officials had arrested the bishops and priests, they didn't pursue criminal charges -- they just disappeared them, sometimes for five, six or even 10 years at a stretch," he said

"Some were sent back home after five or six years, and that was how people learned about the brainwashing centers -- from their accounts," he concluded.

Bitter Winter, an overseas magazine on religious liberty and human rights, released in November 2020 their interview with a former brainwashing victim. The survivor detailed the varied methods used in these transformation centers. Tortures included, as per RFA, "cold showers in sub-zero temperatures, and forcing inmates to carry large buckets of water around their necks."