“A member of a Christian ‘house church’ in the southwestern province of Sichuan who asked to be identified by a pseudonym Li Yuese said he was held in a facility run by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s United Front Work Department, working in tandem with the state security police, for 10 months after a raid on his church in 2018,” said the report by Radio Free Asia. “Another Christian who asked to remain anonymous told RFA that similar facilities are being used across China, not just for Protestants, but also for members of the underground Catholic church, and of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, a target of authorities since 1999.”
The CCP targeted churches that were not members of the Three-Self Patriotic Association, which spews a CCP-backed version of Christianity as normal Christianity is viewed as a national security threat.
“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 Li. “It had its own (CCP) political and legal affairs committee working group, and they mainly target Christians who are members of house churches.”
“They use really underhand[ed] methods,” said Li. “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. 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.”
Li was kept in a room without any windows for around ten months, and that he started to lose concept of time. He was routinely beaten by members of the CCP. He eventually started harming himself and thought of suicide often.
“I couldn’t sleep; after you’ve been in there a week, death starts to look better than staying there. I bashed myself against the wall to self-harm,” said Li. “One time in there, I was groggy and was trying to open my eyes but I couldn’t. Four or five of them grabbed me by the arms and legs and pinned me to the ground. They injected me with some drug, and brought me back to consciousness.”