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Today in Christian History
The Union of Utrecht joins several Dutch states against oppressive Spain.
The Moscow Patriarchate is created, making the Russian Church autocephalous, that is, subject to no higher bishop. However, there are some details regarding precedence and signatures that will not be ironed out for about four years. In practice, the Russian church had been independent for one hundred and forty years before the Orthodox Church of Constantinople formally recognizes the de facto situation.
Blaise Pascal publishes his first Provinical Letter, weighing in on the French controvery between Jansenists and Roman Catholics.
Lutheran missionary Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg engages in a dialogue about religion with Tamil-speaking Hindus at Tranquebar, India. A Hindu argues that since God made the world, he made its religions; therefore each is a path to God. Ziegenbalg responds that since the religions contradict each other, only one can be from God; the rest are from Satan.
Father John Carroll establishes Georgetown College which will become Georgetown University.
Lott Carey, a Baptist, sails with 28 colleagues from Norfolk, Virginia, to Sierra Leone to become the first African-American missionary to Africa.
British biblical expositor Arthur W. Pink wrote in a letter: 'Growth in grace is like the growth of a cow's tail - the more it truly grows, the closer to the ground it is brought.'
Polish Communists take over the offices of Caritas, a Roman Catholic humanitarian agency, hoping to reduce the influence of the Roman Catholic Church.
Funeral of Spetume Florence Njangali, a priest in Uganda's Anglican Church. A hard-working woman of great ability, she had struggled long to obtain priestly ordination for women.
Hindu extremists burn to death Australian missionary Graham Staine and his two sons in their jeep, forcing them back into the burning vehicle when they try to escape the flames.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"