Churches in China are banned from creating “safe environments” for world leaders attending the G20 summit in September.
According to ChristianToday.com, world leaders are expected to attend the two-day summit in the city of Hangzhou. Religious worship is banned during the event “to create a safe environment for the meeting.”
"They have been forcing house churches not to meet ahead of the G20 summit," said Zhang Mingxuan, the president of China's House Church Alliance.
"The government has been clamping down on house churches in recent years, trying to manage them more closely, but they are a bit amorphous sometimes, so they have just told them they can't meet for worship," he added. "But the Bible teaches that we can't stop meeting."
Some believe this is part of a larger effort to crackdown on churches.
"I cannot understand why they have done this... Worshipping God has nothing to do with the G20 summit," said Li Guisheng, a Christian human rights lawyer.
More than 1,200 churches or places of worship have been attacked and had their crosses removed in the province of Zhejiang, where Hangzhou is the capital.
Pastor Gu Yuese was arrested in January for criticizing the cross removals. He was just recently released.
Publication date: July 22, 2016
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.