Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, November 20

Because his prisons are full, Diocletian offers amnesty to all Christians who will sacrifice to the Roman gods. Authority for the date: Barnes, Timothy David. Eusebius and Constantine. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981.
(traditional date) Martyrdom of Edmund, King of the East Angles. Danish invaders had offered him peace at the cost of renouncing Christ but he refused, fighting to preserve his throne and his faith. Captured, he was tortured and murdered. Authority for the date: Episcopal Church. Holy Women, Holy Men.
In Switzerland, French reformer John Calvin, 32, established a theocratic government at Geneva, thereby creating a home base for emergent Protestantism throughout Europe.
At the urging of Bartolomeo de las Casas, Spain passes new laws to protect American Indians. Authority for the date: Wagner, Henry Raup and Helen Rand Parish. Bartolome de las Casas. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1967
The first Presbyterian meeting house in England was established at Wandsworth, Surrey.
Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias II issues a Tomus on the question of the Gregorian calendar, which the Orthodox Church rejects, sticking with the traditional Julian calendar. Authority for the date: http://www.patriarchate.org/patriarchate/former-patriarchs/jeremias-ii-1st-time
The King of Warri [in Nigeria] writes the pope, pleading that missionaries be sent to his country. In response, the pope will dispatch Capuchin friars who will criss-cross the small country for four years. Authority for the date: A History of Christianity in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
Death of Isaac Backus, an influential Massachusetts Baptist leader, soulwinner, and advocate of religious freedom. Authority for the date: Encyclopedia American, 1956.
Death of Francis Lyte, Scottish clergyman and hymnwriter, who wrote "Jesus I My Cross Have Taken." He also penned the hymn, "Abide with Me, Fast Falls the Eventide." His last words are "Joy! Peace!" Authority for the date: Duffield, Samuel Willoughby. English Hymns; their Authors and History. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1886.
Blind Fanny Crosby underwent a dramatic spiritual conversion at age 30. Fifteen years later, she began writing her first of over 8,000 hymns texts. Many of these remain popular today, including "Rescue the Perishing," "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross," "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" and "Tell Me the Story of Jesus."
Amanda Smith, feeling dull, sees a vision saying "Go Preach." She becomes a well-known African-American evangelist who travels world-wide. Authority for the date: Smith, Amanda. An Autobiography: The Story of the Lord's Dealings with...Amanda Smith, 1968.
The hymn penned by Annie Sherwood Hawks, 36 -- "I Need Thee Every Hour" -- was first sung at a National Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
George Jeffreys is converted in a revival at Shiloh Independent Chapel in Nantyfyllon, Wales. He is healed of a speech impediment and will go on to become a leading Pentecostal evangelist. Authority for the date: Gohr, “George Jeffreys: The Boy Who Overcame a Speech Impediment..."
Father Charles Coughlin, a Canadian-born Catholic priest, populist radio broadcaster, and ardent supporter of Franklin Roosevelt, defends Kristallnacht, a Nazi attack on Jewish property, as a necessary retaliation for Jewish atheists in the communist government of Russia which had killed millions of Christians and confiscated Christian property. He would consistently blame Jews and Communists for the Second World War rather than the Nazis who launched it. Authority for the date: https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005516
The Russian Orthodox Church joined the World Council of Churches.
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