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Today in Christian History
Assassination at Alexandria, Egypt, of George of Cappadocia, a despotic bishop who had forced Arian theology on Alexandrians. After killing him, the mob burns his body and casts the ashes into the Mediterranean Sea.
The first General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in American convenes in Baltimore, Maryland, at Lovely Lane Chapel.
In St. Nicholas Church at Oberndorf, Austria, church organist Franz Gruber, 31, composed a melody on guitar for the poem, "Stille Nacht," written earlier by pastor Joseph Mohr, 26. This evening the world heard "Silent Night" sung for the very first time.
Dostoevsky's trek toward exile in the Omsk penal settlement begins. He has been condemned for participating in a rebel plot. On the way, a woman will thrust a Bible into his hands, which will turn him toward Christ. Although Christian considerations will be prominent in his future writings, his Christianity will not deliver him from compulsive behaviors such as gambling.
The Northside Tabernacle in Chicago was dedicated by evangelist Dwight L. Moody. It became the original structure of what is today the Moody Memorial Church.
Death in Japan of Charlotte Diggs "Lottie" Moon, who had served as a Baptist missionary in China. Her appeals had led to the formation of the Women's Missionary Union.
German theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.'
"Amahl and the Night Visitors," a Christmas musical, had its TV debut. Written by composer Gian Carlo Menotti, it was the first musical to be broadcast over television.
Falsely blaming Christians for the death of a popular Buddhist monk, Sri Lankan Buddhists attack and burn Christian churches, forcing 140 churches to close.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"