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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, April 16

304
The Christians of Saragossa, Spain, undergo severe persecution as troops of the Roman prefect Dacian kill eighteen men. Others who die around this time are Encratis, a woman who reproached Dacian to his face, for which he ordered tortures so severe that her liver was pulled part way out of her chest. During persecution that same year, all Christians are ordered out of the city. As they arrive at the city gates, Dacian's troops slaughter every one.
556
Pelagius I has a stormy ordination as pope, owing to suspicion his predecessor Vigilius died as a result of foul play and he might have been involved. Pelagius had referred to Vigilius as a turncoat for flip-flopping on the issue of the Three Chapters, which were regarded as a concession to the monophysite heresy.
1118
[date possible but not certain] Murder of Magnus of Orkney, whose cousin breaks an agreement to meet with just two boats of men by bringing his whole army. In order to prevent civil war, Magnus allows himself to be killed. The islanders will claim all sorts of miracles at his tomb and he will be declared a saint.
1772
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'I think there is a scriptural distinction between faith and feeling, grace and comfort.... The degree of the one is not often the just measure of the other.'
1829
Death of Carl G. Glaser, 45, German choral master and composer of the hymn tune AZMON, to which we today sing, "O For a Thousand Tongues."
1944
Dorothy Ahleman feels a call to missions at an evening missions service on the campus of Olivet Nazarene College. She will go to Argentina where she will serve for thirty-seven years.
1948
Christians in Action was incorporated in Compton, CA. Founded by Rev. Lee Shelley, this interdenominational overseas mission helps establish national churches in nearly two dozen overseas countries.
1970
Repose (death) of Orthodox elder Amphilochios Makris, an ascetic, founder of a women's monastery at Patmos, and founder of services for orphans and pregnant women.
1986
Six hundred police attack a crowd of Coptic Christians who are standing outside Saint Demiana Coptic Church, injuring some women and children. Afterward, the Egyptian government refuses to allow Copts to stand outside of the church.
2005
Burial of Daniel OyeLakin Ige, an influential member of Nigeria's Christ Apostolic Church. His devotion had won his family to Christ. Because he lacked much education, he used his practical skills to roof hundreds of buildings for his church and started an organization to minister to the needy.

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