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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, April 15

297
The seven martyrs of Samos are incarcerated for refusing to offer pagan sacrifices and will remain imprisoned until late in June when they will be brought before the Emperor Maximian, reduced to little more than skeletons. Finally they will be crucified.
428
[probable date] Nestorius observes his first Easter as patriarch of Constantinople. His Christology will soon get him in trouble with Empress Pulcheria.
1237
Death of Richard Poore, bishop of Salisbury. He had been an opponent of pluralities (holding more than one church office at a time), and deeply concerned with the care and teaching of children, developing a system under which some children were taught to teach others basic doctrine and prayer. He had his clergy remind families every Sunday that small children should not be left unattended in a house where there was fire or water to endanger them. At Salisbury, he endowed some schoolmasters with benefices to teach boys. He is most often remembered, however, for his role in erecting Salisbury Cathedral.
1531
Deadline given the Protestants by Emperor Charles V to accept his religious terms, eliciting Melanchthon's Apology in response and causing the Lutherans to organize a defense league.
1552
King Edward VI of England grants royal assent to a new version of The Book of Common Prayer, the second of his reign.
1597
John Gerard, Jesuit, is tortured in the Tower of London for refusing to betray fellow Catholics. He later escapes.
1610
Death in Rome of Robert Parsons, formerly a leader of the English Jesuits and author of the spiritual treatise The Christian Directory.
1632
Burial of George Calvert at St. Dunstan's Church, England. He obtained the charter for the colony of Maryland, intending to make it a home for Roman Catholic refugees from England.
1746
Colonial missionary to the American Indians David Brainerd wrote in his journal: 'Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose. Oh, that God would make me more fruitful and spiritual.'
1767
Death of Elder Basil of Poiana Marului. He renovated the Skete there (a skete is a settlement of Eastern Orthodox monks dependent on a parent monastery) and gained renown for his austerities, focus on Scripture, and insistence on true repentance.
1791
Death in London of John Marrant, an African-American Methodist minister and missionary who had written three books about his experiences as a preacher with the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion.
1817
In Hartford, CT, American clergyman Thomas H. Gallaudet, 30, and deaf Frenchman Laurent Clerc opened the first American school for the deaf, called the American Asylum.
1872
In deciding the legal case "Watson v. Jones," the U.S. Supreme Court declared that a member of a religious organization may not appeal to secular courts against a decision made by a church tribunal within the area of its competence.
1879
Friedrich Kiel's oratorio Christus is given by the Oratorio Society, New York City. Keil wrote in a Romantic style.
1889
Death of Joseph Damien, a Belgian missionary to lepers on Molokai, Hawaii. This Roman Catholic priest, who had transformed living conditions for the victims of leprosy, dies with the disease.
1892
Birth of Corrie ten Boom, Dutch devotional author whose family was arrested by the Gestapo during WWII for hiding Jewish refugees in their home. (Corrie's experience with the Nazis was depicted in the 1971 film, "The Hiding Place.")
1919
Japanese soldiers lure twenty-five Christians into church in the village of Cheamri, Korea, where they shoot at them and burn the church over their heads.
1940
Death at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England, of Alda Marguerite Milner-Barry, author of the hymn "Sing the Joy of Easter Day." She had lectured on English in British colleges and universities.
1950
Thirty-six leading members of religious orders in Hungary send a protest letter to the Hungarian government for abuses done to their orders by the government.
1957
Baba Ezra Dikki is posted to Majinga among the Kambari people of Niger State, Nigeria. He worked among this group for twenty-four years, extending the Christian church. A student commented that Dikki's heart was always broken by the things that break the heart of Jesus.
1958
British apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in "Letters to an American Lady": 'I had been a Christian for many years before I really believed in the forgiveness of sins, or more strictly, before my theoretical belief became a reality to me.'
1970
Death of Wang Liming in a communist labor camp in China, where she had been imprisoned on spurious evidence. When taken from her family she had declared, “I am carrying the cross of Jesus Christ.” Wang had been head of the Chinese branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and active in much Christian work and in women’s causes.
2011
Lao People’s Army members, assisted by Vietnamese troops, rape and kill four Christian women of the Hmong tribe, forcing their families to watch. When large numbers of Christians march in peaceful protest a few days later because of this atrocity, dozens will be killed, hundreds wounded, and many arrested.
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