Chinese Christians said they were imprisoned and routinely beaten by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials in "transformation" centers designed to make them renounce Christianity, according to a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report on Thursday.
"It was a mobile facility, that could just set up in some basement somewhere," said one house church member in the Sichuan province, using the pseudonym Li Yuese.
"It was staffed by people from several different government departments. ... It had its (CCP) own political and legal affairs committee working group, and they mainly target Christians who are members of house churches."
Christianity is legal in China under the CCP's Chinese Catholic Church, and the so-called "Protestant" alternative Patriotic Three-Self Church, also run by the CCP. Many Christians reject both and instead participate in "house churches," which are often raided by CCP officials.
Li said he was confined in a windowless room for "eight or nine months." During that time, he was beaten, verbally abused, and "mentally tortured" by staff.
"You have to accept the statement they prepare for you," Li said. "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 is no time limit for the brainwashing process."
"You can't see the sun, so you lose all no (sic) concept of time."
"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."
RFA estimates China is home to 68 million Protestants, with 23 million attending state-affiliated churches, and nine million Catholics, with most attending state-sponsored churches.