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Today in Christian History
Death of Queen Elizabeth I of England who had taken the final steps to make Anglicanism the state religion of England.
Death in Salisbury of Daniel Whitby, a clergyman of the Church of England. He had engaged in many controversies, especially against Calvinists, and had adopted Unitarian opinions. His legacy will be a systematic postmillennialism (the teaching that the church has supplanted Israel and that after a thousand years of righteousness prevail on earth, Christ will finally return). Ironically, his postmillennial views will be most widely embraced by Calvinists.
Anglican clergyman and hymn writer John Newton wrote in a letter: 'What a mercy it is to be separated in spirit, conversation, and interest from the world that knows not God.'
American statesman Henry Clay wrote: 'All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All separated from government are compatible with liberty.'
Brazil's new constitution makes Roman Catholicism the official religion, but permits all other religions.
First medical class of missionary-doctor Ida Scudder graduates in Vellore, India. The medical school she founded will become one of Asia's foremost teaching hospitals.
Dr. Samuel Cavert of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America officiated at a Protestant Easter service in New York City. It was the first religious program to be broadcast over television, and was carried by local NBC affiliate TV station W2XBS, in NYC.
Death in exile of Nikolai Berdyaev, a Russian Orthodox political theorist and associate of Jacques Maritain and his circle. "The substance of life can only be religious. It is an entering into the life of God, that is, into true Being."
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdanez is martyred by sniper fire while saying mass in San Salvadore. He had been a vocal opponent of San Salvadore's brutal military.
Five congregations in the eastern San Francisco Bay area became the first to declare themselves publicly as sanctuary churches, in an effort to help refugees from Central America establish themselves in the U.S. during political and military unrest in their native countries.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"