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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, February 19

The Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ended, when a Council in Constantinople formally reinstated the veneration of images (icons) in the churches. (This debate over icons is often considered the last event which led to the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Churches.)
Icons are restored to eastern churches with solemn processions on the first Sunday of Lent following the iconoclast wars, an event that will later be observed as the "Feast of Orthodoxy."
Death in Canterbury, Kent, England, of Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor of England. He had been a violent persecutor of the Lollards, Wycliffe's reform followers.
Burial of Miles Coverdale, who had produced the first complete printed edition of the Scriptures in English, completing William Tyndale's Bible following Tyndale's execution. Coverdale's version of the Psalms will long be used by the Church of England.
(or 1671) Death in Boston, Massachusetts, of Charles Chauncy, eighteen years the president of Harvard College. A Congregational clergyman, his insistance on full immersion for baptism had been controversial in New England.
Death in Germantown, Pennsylvania, of Alexander Mack, leader of America's German Baptists.
Death of Xi Shengmo. After years of bondage to opium, he had become a Christian and the Holy Spirit freed him after an agonizing battle. He then adopted his last name which meant "conqueror of demons." He went on to establish fifty opium refuges in four provinces where prayer was a major factor in treatment of the addicts. Many became Christians and applied his methods to other addicts.
Presidential Executive Order 9066 began placing 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry (of which over 2/3 were American-born citizens) into ten "relocation centers" for the duration of WWII. During confinement within the armed, barbed-wire surroundings, however, prayer meetings, Bible studies and worship services were held.
Father Butrus Sowmy conveys the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls to American John Trever, whom he had contacted the day before. Trever requests permission to photograph them and sends the photographs to famed archaeologist William Albright, who will confirm the value of the manuscripts.
Death of evangelist Lionel Bale Fletcher in Sydney, Australia.

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