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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, December 26

795
Election of Leo III as pope. Five years later he will crown Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor.
1620
Plymouth Colony was settled by the "Mayflower" colonists. (In 1691 Plymouth joined other neighboring settlements to form the royal colony of Massachusetts.)
1790
Ordination of Sattyanadan Pillai (also spelled Satyanathan), the first Tamil missionary of the Lutheran Church in India. Sattyanadan will serve as pastor-teacher in Tirunelveli and will be one of the leaders in a movement of mass conversion of Indians to Christianity.
1830
Birth of William Caven, Scottish-born Canadian Presbyterian leader. He taught at Knox College, in Toronto, the last 39 years of his life. Though staunchly conservative, Caven was genuinely interested in social issues and thoroughly committed to missions.
1912
MacKay Memorial Hospital is established in Taipei in honor of Presbyterian missionary George Leslie Mackay, founder of a clinic which became the basis of the hospital. It will develop into one of the largest medical centers in Taiwan, and will retain deep Presbyterian roots.
1948
Hungarian authorities arrest Cardinal Josef Mindszenty, an outspoken critic of communism. Fearful that he will break under torture, he scribbles a note to his mother: "I have taken no part in any conspiracy of any kind. I shall not resign from my episcopal see. I shall not make a confession. But if despite what I now say you should read that I have confessed or resigned, and even see it authenticated by my signature, bear in mind that it will have been only the result of human frailty. In advance, I declare all such actions null and void." He will spend eight years in prison and fifteen more in asylum in the United States embassy.
1952
Demos Shakarian, founder of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, sees so little success that he announces the meeting of this date will be the last. However, he has a vision the night before of dead men in chains coming to life and this changes his mind. From that day things change and the fellowship grows into a huge international movement with over one thousand chapters world wide and results in the conversion of hundreds of thousands of people.
1970
American missionary and apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'We can fail after we are truly Christians because becoming a Christian does not rob us of our true humanity.'
1994
Nigerian Christians falsely accused of defecating on a Koran are dragged out of jail and beheaded by a mob.
2004
A tsunami from a strong earthquake devastates towns along India's eastern shore that have large Christian populations.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"