Today in Christian History
Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, 45, began a six-year self-imposed exile in France. Once a close friend of England's Henry II, Thomas had more recently become an outspoken opponent of the king's royal policies.
Death at Bishop's Bourne, England, of staunch Anglican theologian Richard Hooker, author of Ecclesiastical Polity. His last words are "God hath my daily petitions, for I am at peace with all men, and He is at peace with me...and this witness makes the thoughts of death joyful."
Trial begins for Anne Hutchinson, who will be exiled as a result and become a founder of Rhode Island. She had led religious meetings in her home and advocated a covenant of grace.
Death of Johann Albrecht Bengel, German Lutheran theologian and Bible scholar, author of Gnomen Novi Testamenti. It marks the beginning of modern textual criticism (so-called lower criticism).
During the chaos of the French Revolution, the property of the Church in France was taken over by the state.
Death from consumption of Jimmie Aoba, Florence Young's first convert in her work among the Island recruits who served on Queensland plantations. After becoming a Christian, he had pleaded for nightly classes so that he might learn more quickly, and always brought other “boys” with him.
British foreign secretary Arthur J. Balfour, 69, issued the Balfour Declaration, calling for "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The document's recognition of a Jewish nationalism planted the seed which in 1948 led to an establishment of the modern state of Israel.
Martyrdom of Ananius Aristov, who had been serving as village priest in Serginsky, and resisted the socialists who were murderous enemies of the Russian Orthodox Church. He and his two sons Andrew and Hosea are killed in the garden of the Perm theological seminary.
Americans intercept a Pathet Lao communication ordering the deaths of twenty-five year old Evelyn Anderson and thirty-five year old Beatrice Kosin, missionaries in Kengkok, Laos. Their bodies are later found burned to death. The Pathet Lao were Communists who hated Christianity because it contradicted the fundamental teachings of Marxism and posed serious problems to their control of people.
Death of Bamidele Olusegun Ijagbulu, a Baptist minister and author in Nigeria who founded the Olu-Ibukun Foundation to intervene in troubled marriages and teach youth to live pure lives.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"