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Today in Christian History
Fire breaks out among the shops lining the Circus Maximus, Rome's chariot stadium. Nero is blamed and tries to deflect blame from himself onto Jews and Christians, soon conducting a full scale persecution of Christians, notorious for the cruelty with which it is carried on.
Martin of Mayence is burned as a heretic at Cologne because he belongs to a sect known as "Friends of God" and refuses to observe the days and hours of prayer and worship commanded by the church, regards all Christians as priests, maintains that outward works have no merit before God, and preaches that the Lord Jesus suffered more in bearing the judgment of God than in enduring the pain of the cross.
Annaken van den Hove becomes the last Anabaptist martyr in Flanders. Catholic theologians determine he deserves death as a heretic and hand him over to the civil authorities who bury him alive.
In London, Edward Winslow, governor of the Plymouth Colony, helped organize theSociety for Propagating the Gospel in New England, for the purpose of converting theAmerican Indians to Christian faith.
Five Massachusetts women were hanged for witchcraft. Fifteen young girls in theSalem community charged as many as 150 citizens in the area with witchcraft during thegreater part of this year.
The American Unitarian Association was founded by members of the liberal wing ofthe Congregational churches in New England.
Death of Christmas Evans, one of the most notable Welsh preachers.
More than three hundred men and women assemble in the Wesleyan Chapel at Seneca Falls, New York, for the first formal convention to discuss "the social, civil, and religious condition and the rights of women." The event will be called the birthplace of the women's rights movement. Men are not allowed into the convention until the second day.
John Joseph Hughes is consecrated as the first Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York.
Construction began on the Liverpool Cathedral in England. The cathedral wascompleted 20 years later and consecrated on this same date in 1924.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"