Kamran Chaudhry, Lahore
Updated: August 03, 2021 07:51 AM GMT
Pastor Amir William (second from left) of Landi Kotal Church with his pastoral team. (Photo supplied)
A Church of Pakistan pastor has denied reports circulating on social media that the Afghan Taliban had captured his church near the Torkham border crossing.
“I strongly reject this news. The Taliban have not occupied our church. We are completely secured in the cantonment area. The army cooperates with us and takes care of our needs,” said Pastor Amir William of Landi Kotal Church in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
He further requested the media to avoid reporting without confirming the facts. “The erroneous reports worry the church, damage the reputation of the institution and harm interfaith harmony. Kindly avoid false news,” he appealed.
Built in 1829, the church is managed by the Pakistan army and Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force. The provincial government and army are reconstructing the building and it will be consecrated later this year.
Last week Simon Aleem claimed in a YouTube video that the Taliban had captured the Church of Pakistan building by forcing the pastor and other staff to vacate it.
“They removed the cross and bulldozed the church lawn. They are living in the church and will proceed to Punjab. May God save us all,” Aleem reported.
The video has had more than 2,000 views.
Aleem also claimed that the Taliban didn’t face any resistance from the locals, who welcomed them. He also accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of supporting the fundamentalist terror outfit.
In May, the false news of an alleged gang rape and beating of a Christian girl for refusing to convert to Islam was circulated on social media, prompting celebrities to demand justice for her. But it was later proved to be fake news by activists.