Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, April 8

1378
Bartolomeo Prignano is elected Pope Urban VI. His harsh words to the cardinals as soon as he assumes office leads to rumors that he is insane. His electors will leave Rome and name a rival pope (Clement VII), starting the Great Western Schism.
1530
A Diet summoned by Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire meets at Augsburg to deal with religious dissention in Germany.
1669
Turkish Muslims on the island of Kos burn to death John Naukliros, accusing him of recanting from Islam. He responds, "I believe with all my soul and heart in my Lord Jesus Christ and I confess him as true God Who will judge all the world, both the living and the dead." He tells his persecutors that he despises Islam and is prepared even to endure torture for the love of Christ.
1812
Ordination and installation of Nathaniel Taylor as pastor of New Haven's Center Church. He will oversee a growth of four hundred members during several revivals and will also become a prominent New England theologian.
1857
A small group of Dutch immigrants meet in Zeeland, Michigan, to organize the first Christian Reformed Church.
1901
James Chalmers and his associates are clubbed to death and eaten while visiting the Fly River in New Guinea.
1929
Religious associations in Russia are forbidden to help members financially or enter into mutual aid agreements. All previous anti-religion laws are summarized into one "Law Concerning Religion."
1945
German theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the night before he was hanged by the Nazis, said: 'This is the end - - for me the beginning' -- his last recorded words.
1974
Death of Baptist leader and educator George Morling in Sydney, Australia. Morling College will be named for him.
1988
Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert, 52, was defrocked by the Assemblies of God following the disclosure of his involvement with a prostitute. (Swaggert was ordered to stay off TV for a year, but had returned after only three months.)

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