Beijing: Allegations against the current abbot of China's Shaolin Temple about soliciting prostitutes and later being arrested are not true, a government statement said.

The State Administration for Religious Affairs on Saturday said online news reports about priest Shi Yongxin were rumours.

“We seriously condemn the rumour since it was not only defamation of Shi himself, but also harmed the image of the famous shrine and even the reputation of Chinese Buddhism,” the statement said.

The administration asked religious figures, Buddhist believers and internet users not to believe and spread the rumour.