International News Apr 6, 2021 2:11 AM EST

Report: China detaining, torturing Christians to force them to renounce their faith

The Chinese government is suspicious of the Christian faith, fearing that it brings with it the possibility of western influence.

Report: China detaining, torturing Christians to force them to renounce their faith
Noah David Alter Toronto
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A new report from Radio Free Asia suggested that Christians in China are being detained and tortured in secret facilities as part of an effort to suppress the Christian faith in the country.

One Christian man told Radio Free Asia that after being detained while attending a church service in the southwestern Sichuan province, he was held in a prison for ten months by the Communist Party of China's (CCP) United Front Work Department.

"It was a mobile facility, that could just set up in some basement somewhere," he said. "It was staffed by people from several different government departments."

The man, who went by a pseudonym Li Yuese, noted that the authorities "mainly target Christians who are members of house churches."

According to Li, he was held in a windowless room for ten months where he was subjected to torture, beatings, and verbal abuse. "They threaten, insult and intimidate you," Li explained. "These were United Front officials, men, women, sometimes unidentified, usually in plain clothes. The police turn a blind eye to this."

Churchgoers who are not members of the state-run protestant Three-Self Patriotic Association or China Christian Council are often subject to harassment by agents of the CCP, which embraces state atheism. China is one of four countries around the world which continues to embrace state atheism, with their neighbours North Korea and Vietnam, as well as Cuba, being the only other three.

The Chinese government is suspicious of the Christian faith, fearing that it brings with it the possibility of western influence. Christianity is not the only faith the Chinese government regards with suspicion, however, with Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists also being targeted for state persecution.

Many churches across the country have been demolished by the authorities, a practice which has been extensively documented by the website Bitter Winter.

He also said that he was forced to provide confessions to authorities lest they abuse him further. "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."

"There were no windows, no ventilation and no time allowed outside," Li alleged. "I was given just two meals a day, which were brought to the room by a designated person."

Li also said that at one point, he was injected with unknown drugs after being pinned to the ground by the authorities.

Similar stories have been reported by Catholics and members of the Falun Gong movement, as well as by Uyghur Muslims who have been detained en masse in the northwestern Xinjiang region, where the Chinese government is perpetuating an ongoing genocide against the local population.

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