NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — A move by Rwanda to shut down more than 700 churches in its capital city, allegedly for building safety, hygiene and noise violations, is prompting accusations that the government of President Paul Kagame is trampling on religious freedom.

On Tuesday (March 6), police detained six pastors, accusing them of conspiring to rally other clergy in defiance of the government’s shutdown orders.

Anastase Shyaka, the chief executive of the Rwanda Governance Board, which ordered the closures, said the action was about “honoring God.”

“It means that if we are Christians, where we worship must meet standards showing respect for God.”

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