Today in Christian History
Anabaptist Elizabeth Dirks is drowned in a bag in the Netherlands. Her Catholic captors, in an attempt to get her to betray the name of the person who baptized her, had tortured her with thumbscrews until blood spurted from under her fingernails, and crushed her legs in screws until she fainted from agony. (Her death is sometimes, mistakenly, said to have been on 27 March.)
Death at Geneva of John Calvin, reformer and theologian.
Death at Clermont of Jesuit author Dominique Bouhours, best known for biographies of Loyola and Xavier.
Birth of George Washington Doane, American Episcopal clergyman. One of the foremost promoters of Episcopal missions in his day, Doane also authored many hymns, including "Fling Out the Banner! Let It Float" and "Softly Now the Light of Day."
Lyman Beecher and former opponents of Charles Finney's revival methods publish a letter saying that the general interests of religion will not be served by continued controversy on the subject. Finney is among the signatories of the letter.
Christian explorer Jedediah Smith is surrounded and killed by Comanche Indians at a water hole near the Cimarron River.
Benedict XV promulgated the "Codex iuris canonici." Divided into five books and 2,414 regulations, the CIC was the first revision of canon law in the Catholic church in modern times, and went into effect at Pentecost the following year.
Birth of Ralph Carmichael, a popular sacred composer whose works flourished most during the 1960s-1970s. Among his oftªsung arrangements are "The Savior is Waiting" and "He's Everything to Me."
Authorities beat to death Yu Zhongju, a twenty-seven-year-old Christian woman, in China's Hubei Province merely because she happens to be present when they arrest another Christian. Before her death, she is sexually abused, tortured with electricity, and burned with cigarette butts along with other Christian women.
Abune Dioskoros, the fourth patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewhado Church is installed. His predecessor, Abune Antonios, is under house arrest at the time for criticizing the government for interfering in church activities and for persecuting evangelical Christians.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"