Most of those targeted are from the Xinjiang region and according to William Nee, a China expert with Amnesty International, Chinese authorities have quotas they must meet under the new religious freedom crackdown.
Mr Nee told Express.co.uk: “What has happened in the Xinjiang region is a human rights disaster like the Rohingya crisis although it hasn’t received as much coverage.
“I have heard that some Christians have been sent there but they mostly target ethnic minorities.
“They are then taken to these camps which are very much like prisons. Many prisons often also serve as reeducation centres.
“There have reports of physical abuse and several deaths in these centres.”
He added there is an estimated 5,000 people who have been forcibly taken to these re-education camps, which are also known under the guise of “citizen study centres” and “anti-extremism centres”.
Unofficial figures suggest there could as many as 85,000 people detained.
Under the Regulations on Religious Affairs which came into effect on February 1, churches have to be officially registered in the state and adhere to the rules set by Chinese authorities.
As a result, many houses churches have been closed, according to Mr Nee.
He added: “Overall things are getting worse. Anything that happens outside of the official remit and they crackdown on it.”
Xinjiang province has been described as one of the most intensely monitored areas in the world.
One Christian, speaking anonymously over fears of persecution, told Open Doors: ”Even your smartphone is checked. I feel like I live in a big prison.”
Mr Nee’s colleague, Roseann Rife, director of East Asia Research at Amnesty in an article earlier this month said: “ Many Catholics, Protestants, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, and Falun Gong practitioners have been harassed or even imprisoned in the struggle to freely practice their religion or beliefs, but these new regulations and amendments only tighten the Chinese government’s grip on religious practice.”
Meanwhile, Amnesty International’s latest report on China added: “In June 2017, the State Council passed the revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, to come into effect on 1 February 2018.
“It codified far-reaching state control over every aspect of religious practice, and extended power to authorities at all levels of the government to monitor, control and potentially punish religious practice.
“The revised law, which emphasised national security with a goal of curbing “infiltration and extremism”, could be used to further suppress the right to freedom of religion and belief, especially for Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims and unrecognised churches.”
Despite China’s crackdown on religion, Mr Nee said the nation is going through “spiritual growth” with a rise in Christian followers from the religion’s Protestant denomination.
Mr Nee added that there have also been many cases where Christians have been allowed to practice their faith as long as they adhere to the Chinese Government’s guidelines.
Earlier this month footage of a huge crucifix being ripped from the Shangqiu Catholic Church South Cathedral by local Communist Party chiefs in China’s Henan Province.
The shocking video shared on Twitter showed a crane removing the last cross standing on top the church as horrified nuns and a priest watched on.