Pahalgam Church Opens After 20 Yrs

20 July 2009
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: For the 100 odd people gathered at the Saint Johns Church at Pahalgam on Sunday evening it was an occasion to celebrate. The Saint Johns church that was closed for the last 20 years was opened for prayers as people assembled there hoping for a new beginning, peace and prosperity in the region. “Saint Johns church at Pahalgam was closed for many years and people from outside the country would often enquire about the church and its opening,” revered CM Khanna, in-charge of the church said. He said that Saint Mary’s church and Saint Johns church at Pahalgam are one of the oldest churches in Kashmir and we were quite eager to make both the churches operational. “At Pahalgam the land for the church was provided by the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir as he was celebrating his son’s birthday. The church was operational for many decades before it was closed for prayers,” CM Khanna added. He said that the church will remain open and regular prayers will be held here from now onwards. “The church will be an added attraction for tourists as many people from Finland to Germany and various other countries are interested to visit these places,” revered CM Khanna said. Importantly, the local administration including the police had also put in their efforts to help the members of the Christian community to re-open the church. “The administration and the police also ensured that all arrangements were put in place ahead of the opening of the church,” Station House Officer, Pahalgam Manzoor Ahmad said. He said that the opening of the church can attract more number of tourists to this tourist place.