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Government officials in China are reportedly kidnapping and torturing Christians in mobile “transformation” facilities to force them to renounce their faith, according to a report by Radio Free Asia on April 1, 2021.
A detainee who asked to be called by the alias Li Yuese said he was held in a facility run by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for 10 months after a raid on his Christian “house church” in the southwestern province of Sichuan in 2018. He also reported that the CCP is working directly with the state security police to detain Christians.
“It was a mobile facility that could just set up in some basement somewhere. There were no windows, no ventilation, and no time allowed outside,” Li Yuese stated. He also said he was given just two meals a day.
China’s treatment of Christians is starkly similar to their detainment and torture of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang concentration camps. The country has detained more than a million Uyghur Muslims in so-called “vocational skills training centers.”
Culture of Abuse & Sexual Assault
Former detainees report being raped repeatedly and a toxic culture of systematic sexual assault among the detention centers. In a heartwrenching testimony originally reported by BBC, Tursunay Ziyawudun, a former detainee stated, “They were extremely sadistic, causing pain and damage to the body by beating and smacking my head on the wall … it was their way of punishing us.”
She says a group of male guards took her away from her cell. “In the next room, I heard another girl crying and screaming. I saw about 5 or 6 men going into that room. I thought they were torturing her. But then I was gang-raped. After that, I realized what they also did to her,” Ziyawudun said, through tears. She said it happened multiple times while she was detained in the camps.
Uyghur parents who have been separated from their children are still fighting to be reunited with them. Parents Mihriban Kader and Ablikim Memtinin fled Xinjiang for Italy in 2016 because of police harassment, leaving their four children in the care of Kader’s parents. After they left, Kader’s mother was taken to a camp, and the police interrogated her father.
“Now my children are in the hands of the Chinese government, and I am not sure I will be able to meet them again in my lifetime,” Kader said. “The thing that hurts most is that, to my children, it’s as if their parents don’t exist anymore, as if we passed away and they are orphaned.”
The CCP embraces and promotes atheism and forcibly dominates over any form of religious practice among its citizens. According to Li Yuese, most of his fellow inmates had not done anything that would result in criminal prosecution. Their only “crime” was taking part in Christian church-related activities.
Under Xi Jinping, the CCP views Christianity as a dangerous foreign import, with party documents warns against the “infiltration of Western hostile forces” in the form of religion.
Li Yuese also told the outlet that suicidal thoughts and self-harm were commonplace. “I couldn’t sleep; after you’ve been in there a week, death starts to look better than staying there,” he recalled during his interview with Radio Free Asia. “I bashed myself against the wall to self-harm.”
During a town hall back in February, President Joe Biden said of Xi Jinping, “the idea that I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in the western mountains of China…he gets it…Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”
Last month the Biden administration instituted new sanctions on Chinese officials. The EU, the U.K., and Canada — in coordination with the US — have also hit China with sanctions.
What China is doing to its Christian and Muslim populations is nothing short of religious persecution. Other nations must hold them accountable to force them to stop these heinous practices that are reminiscent of Hitler.
Written by Ebonee Stevenson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Blaze: Report: China detaining Christians in windowless ‘transformation’ facilities, using ‘brainwashing’ to get them to renounce their faith; by Dave Urbanski
Radio Free Asia: Chinese Christians Held in Secretive Brainwashing Camps; by Li Nuo
Amnesty International: China: Parents of missing Uyghur children describe horror of family separation
CNN: Allegations of shackled students and gang rape inside China’s detention camps; by Ivan Watson, Rebecca Wright
Images Courtesy of Keith Tan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License