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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, August 23

1723
Death of Increase Mather, one of America's most famous eighteenth-century clergymen, a president of Harvard College, and the father of Cotton Mather. Mather had published many books, including Cases of Conscience Concerning Witchcraft which helped end executions for witchcraft in New England.
1823
Karl F. A. GÀGÀtzlaff, 20, first arrived in Bangkok the first missionary ever to reach Thailand. Representing the Netherlands Missionary Society, GÀGÀtzlaff and his wife later translated the complete Bible into Siamese, and portions of it into the Lao and Cambodian languages.
1828
Carl Gutzlaff and Jacob Tomlin become the first Protestant missionaries to set foot in Thailand.
1838
The first class graduates from Mt. Holyoke Seminary, the first American college for women, founded by the Christian educator Mary Lyon.
1888
Huang Su'e marries Episcopal missionary Francis Lister Hawks Pott, a leader and educator with the Chinese Anglican Church. Huang will evangelize, teach, and found an orphanage.
1901
Six hundred American teachers arrive in the Philippines to staff schools and begin mass education of Filipinos. With them comes Protestantism, which will eventually make up about 7% of the island nation's population as compared to 80% Catholic.
1928
Death in Catonsville, Maryland, of Russell Kelso Carter. A Methodist preacher, he had authored the hymn "Standing on the Promises."
1948
During its Amsterdam Assembly (Aug 22 Sept 4), the newly-formed World Council of Churches officially ratified its Constitution.
1966
Red Guards smash the windows of Moore Memorial Church, burn its books, burn its cross, and confine church leader Sun Yanli and his family in the building where they interrogate and whip them. Later, when they are released, the guards will shave Sun's head and make him sweep and clean the church buildings.
2008
A rampage against Christians begins in Orissa State, India, following the assassination of a Hindu leader which is blamed on Christians. Hindu mobs will kill forty Christians and burn thousands of homes, hundreds of churches, and thirteen schools. They will also rape many Christian women and sell dozens into sexual slavery. Tens of thousands of Christians will flee from the violence.

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