Today in Christian History
German reformer Martin Luther, 36, published "Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church," his famous writing which attacked the entire sacramental system of the Catholic Church.
Ursula of Munsterberg escapes her convent and becomes a Lutheran, writing a tract in support of her departure from the convent. "To say that the monastic vow is a second baptism and washes away sins, as we have heard from the pulpit, is blasphemy against God, as if the blood of Christ were not enough to wash away all sins."
Tyndale is strangled and burned at Vilvoorde Castle (not far from Brussels) for his Protestant views and efforts to translate the Bible into English.
Birth of Matteo Ricci, an Italian Jesuit who was sent as a missionary to China in 1583. His complete adoption of Chinese customs raised the issue of the limits of "accommodation" to other cultures, in the preaching of the gospel.
A band of religious refugees from Krefield, Germany came ashore at Philadelphia -- the first Mennonites to arrive in North America. Their pastor, F. Daniel Pastorius, was considered by many the most learned man in America at the time.
Death of Matthew Bridges, English clergyman and hymnwriter. Raised Anglican, he had joined the Roman Catholic Church under the influence of the Oxford Movement.
Iraida (birth name Ivanovna Kiprina), an Orthodox nun in Irkutsk, is sentenced to three years' imprisonment for "conducting anti-Soviet agitation" and "maintaining links with exiled representatives of the clergy."
Death of Ivan Prokhanov, a mighty Russian evangelist, who was president of the All Russian Union of Evangelical Christians.
Death of Samuel Ndhlovu, a pioneer church leader and man of God in Natal. Among his final words to his daughter were, "God is in control."
Prem Singh Gurung is sentenced to three years in prison for showing Christian movies in two of Bhutan's villages.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"