Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, January 17

395
With the death of Emperor Theodosius I (the Great), this became the last day the (Christian) Roman Empire was controlled by a single leader. In his wisdom, Theodosius had divided the empire into western and eastern portions.
1377
Pope Gregory XI enters Rome from Avignon, hoping to put down an Italian revolt against him. He will send Robert of Geneva (later antipope Clement VII) with a company of ferocious Breton adventurers to crush the rebellion with atrocities, but it will continue. In about a year, Gregory will die, leaving the situation worse than it was.
1525
Zurich City Council holds a public debate on infant baptism, which reformer Ulrich Zwingli has mandated as a covenantal act, but which Anabaptists such as Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz oppose, saying that baptism symbolizes a believer's commitment to Christ and therefore must be entered into by adults with understanding.
1562
Edict of St. Germain is issued, allowing Huguenots to preach in France.
1677
Trial of Ludovick Muggleton, a fanatic religious leader who had gathered many followers and annoyed London authorities by claiming to be one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 and publicly cursing opponents. He will be sentenced to stand in the pillory for three days in three sections of London, to pay a £500 fine (or go to jail), and to have his books publicly burned. The sect of Muggletonians had arisen under his teaching.
1932
Death in London, England, of Charles Gore, founder of the Community of the Resurrection, an Anglican monastery. He had been an author, a bishop, and an advocate for social justice.
1945
Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish Lutheran diplomat, is last seen alive by his friends after Soviets take him into custody. His resourcefulness had saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during Nazi occupation. He will be remembered with other Righteous Gentiles in the Episcopal Church calendar on July 19.
1963
The Baptist World Mission was incorporated in Chicago. This independent organization of Baptist tradition is engaged primarily in evangelism, church planting and education in 17 overseas countries.
1967
Death in Madagascar of Clara Clerget, French-born nun (Sister Anne-Marie of the Visitation), who had spent over fifty years as a missionary in Madagascar, most of it working with leprosy patients. Her radiant personality had attracted much attention and so she will be treated with high honors at her funeral.
1977
The Supreme Court of India (Hindu) rules that the successful work of a Christian evangelist is a threat to the "freedom of conscience" guaranteed to all citizens of India.

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