In several parts of Shaanxi Province, believers of The Church of Almighty God have been detained at covert centers for forced indoctrination.
Bitter Winter recently spoke to residents in China’s northwestern province of Shaanxi who revealed a new form of detention currently underway in the country.
Li Zhi (pseudonym), along with three other Christians, was detained at a “legal education center” in the city of Xi’an early this year. He spent over two months at the base and was forced to sit through indoctrination classes.
The staff at the base included judicial personnel, public security officers, and teachers. The “students” were monitored round the clock, and their daily performance in the classes was recorded for the perusal of the Public Security Department. The detainees, most of whom were The Church of Almighty God believers, were forced to watch videos slandering the church.
Believers are also forced to write statements of guarantee, repentance, disclosure, criticism, and break-up, to get them to stop believing in God and leave the church.
The base where Mr. Li was detained is not the only one in Xi’an. As per reports, the authorities also control an 800 square meters area at the Xuanpingyuan agro-tourism site in the city for the same reason. Jing Tian (pseudonym) was detained at this site back in 2013.
Mr. Jing reveals that the base resembled a prison and conditions inside were abject. “It was all ghastly and frightening, starting with the black gate with heavy iron chains to enter the facility. I felt like I was in hell.” Police officer also threatened him during an interrogation, who said, “Killing you would be the same as killing ants.”
Meanwhile, in other cities of Shaanxi, such as Yan’an city, a hotel is being used as a covert center to indoctrinate believers as well. Officials from the Anti-Xie Jiao Organization, popularly known as Office 610, kept nine believers in the Nanji Palace Hotel in Baota district in September last year, according to reports.
A believer detained at another “legal education center,” located in the Tianbao Villa in Ankang city’s Hanbin district, revealed that “We were forced to watch anti-religious videos all day long. The soundtracks of the videos they recorded made people feel anxious and uneasy. When it was time to sleep, those sounds still lingered.”
Throughout China, hotels and villas are now being used as “legal education centers” where the CCP-backed authorities detain and “transforms” believers. These bases are extremely secretive, and while some of them are used temporarily, others are long-term sites.
Reported by Yao Zhangjin