Source: Direct Reports from China
Date: June 28, 2018
Bitter Winter has learned about the arrest and detention of seven Christians from a house church in the city of Meihekou, Jilin Province, two years ago. They were sent to a conversion class to undergo intense indoctrination.
One day in May 2016, five officers from the local police station in Meihekou suddenly burst into the home of Wang Hai (50, pseudonym). The officers asked him if he believed in God and took him and his wife away. Two church coworkers and three believers were arrested afterward; they were all taken to the same police station.
In the station, the police interrogated all of them separately, asking questions about their faith but did not manage to get any answers.
Wang Hai’s family managed to get his wife out after six days by using connection and bribes, but Wang Hai and the other five believers were released only a month later.
One of the Christians revealed that when the police were not getting any answers from the interrogation, they forced the believers to go to an intense indoctrination and conversion class, propagating the ideas of atheism and forcing them to watch videos slandering Christianity. They had to write “thought reports” and sign statements of guarantee that they would no longer believe in God – attempts to force them to give up their faith.
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Bitter Winter plans to report on how religions are allowed, or not allowed, to operate in China and how some are severely persecuted after they are labeled as “xie jiao,” or heterodox teachings. We plan to publish news difficult to find elsewhere, analyses, and debates.
Placed under the editorship of Massimo Introvigne, one of the most well-known scholars of religion internationally, “Bitter Winter” is a cooperative enterprise by scholars, human rights activists, and members of religious organizations persecuted in China (some of them have elected, for obvious reasons, to remain anonymous).