The story of a Christian inmate showed the situations and practices founded by the communist system within the prison to indoctrinate Christian prisoners.
A man from China gave a personal account of how he and other Christians are ordered to renounce their faith or, if they refuse to obey such an order, end up in prison.
The individual, nicknamed Li Geng, told the «Bitter Winter» support agency for persecuted Christians that he was arrested five years ago and was behind bars for three years and six months on charges of «using a cult to undermine law enforcement.
Geng is a Christian, which currently includes him in the most persecuted religious group in China.
During his incarceration, Li was kept under 24/7 supervision by a team of prisoners led by prisoners designated by the guard.
«Bitter Winter» stated that the supervised prisoner must obey the team leader. This also included asking permission for everything he did, including eating, drinking water, using the bathroom, changing clothes, or even sleeping. However, if the leader denied the request, the prisoner had to obey.
To make Christians «renounce» their faith, they are subjected to mandatory indoctrination.
Apparently, Li was to memorize the rules of the prison and «The Rules of Being a Good Student and Child,» a manual centered on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. He was also forced to watch videos that defamed the church of which he is a member.
«Every night I was asked to write down what I had learned from these books or videos while the TV was on at a very high volume in the same room,» Li said.
«As time went on, I began to hear ringing sounds in my ears. After I was discharged, I knew that my hearing had been severely affected and I could no longer hear people talking in a slightly lower voice,» she added.
Dealing with violence
The guards used to beat Li if they were not satisfied with his written reports or for any other reason.
«Instructed by the guards, the prisoners who supervised me once took me to a corner of my cell and tore up the paper I wrote on the videos. They slapped me more than a dozen times,» he told Bitter Winter.
In one particular case, an inmate slapped Li’s face more than 100 times on the fourth day of «class. Also, Li reported waking up to slaps from other prisoners almost every morning.
Li told Bitter Winter that his refusal to be transformed and to renounce his faith involved more severe punishment.
«For a month, the team leader would not allow me to use the bathroom during the day: I could only use it at night after all the other prisoners were asleep,» Li said.
«I was not allowed to defecate for 16 consecutive days. The leader told me I couldn’t use the toilet because I was less than an animal,» he added.
Li also said he ate and drank very little during the 16 days of torture, which affected his long-term health.
«Bitter Winter» reported that Li forcibly ate more than 100 cockroaches in two months, including some live ones.
«Some of the cockroaches were bigger than the crickets,» Li recalled.
«My supervisor took a cockroach and put it in my mouth while it was still alive. He wouldn’t let me spit, threatening to beat me up if I did,» she continued.
«Then he kept putting cockroaches in my mouth, but he wouldn’t let me swallow them. I wanted them to crawl out of my mouth first, and only then was I told to chew the roaches completely,» Li added.
«The spicy taste made me sick. I was in an unbearable state,» he concluded.
Religious persecution in China sounded an alarm after the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom published its 20th annual report in 2019.
According to the Commission, religious intolerance has increased to such an extent that it dictates the classification of the nation within existing parameters.