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Mr. Miller and the other dissident leaders took or had taken shelter at the church last month after the authorities ordered their arrest.

In the above sentence I marked the answer in my exam as had taken but the answer was marked as wrong and took is the correct option. I believe both are correct with the only difference in the tense they would make. So in such cases , where we find both the options correct which one should be the best option to mark your answer?

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You use the past perfect to refer to an action that happened before another action in the past.

In the sentence presented, taking shelter is the later action, whereas ordering their arrest is the earlier action in the past.

So the use of the past simple (took) for the later action is correct grammatically.

According to grammar, you can use either the past simple or the past perfect followed by the preposition "after" as follows:

Mr Miller and the other dissident leaders took shelter at the church last month after the authorities ordered/had ordered their arrest.

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