Chinese communist authorities have closed churches in the city of Hangzhou in the lead up to the G20 summit citing “safety reasons,” say reports.
Heads of state will attend the two-day G20 meeting in September. The authorities are taking a series of “safety measures,” among which is the banning of religious worship.
Communist Party-run The Global Times said Xiaoshan, a district in southeast Hangzhou where the G20 meeting will be held, had forbidden large-scale religious activities until four days after the event, reported The Guardian.
It said the ban was “to create a safe environment for the meeting.”
Li Guisheng, a Christian human rights lawyer, said the move had no basis in Chinese law, reported Christian Today.
“I cannot understand why they have done this…. Worshipping God has nothing to do with the G20 summit,” said Li.
Hangzhou is the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, which has an estimated 2 million Protestants and 200,000 Catholics.