Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, August 23

1572
In France, late this night, Catholic conspirators began massacring thousands of Huguenots (French Protestants), under orders of Catherine de Medici, advisor to her son, Charles IX, King of France.
1712
Addison's hymn "The Spacious Firmament on High" appears in the Spectator at the end of an essay on faith.
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.
1828
Carl Gutzlaff and Jacob Tomlin become the first Protestant missionaries to set foot in Thailand.
1882
Death of Charles W. Fry, 45, English Salvation Army worker. It was Fry who penned the words to the lyric hymn, "I Have Found a Friend in Jesus" (a.k.a. "Lily of the Valley").
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."
1952
Death of Frederick Kenyon, biblical archeologist and author of Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts. He had had a knack for making his findings intelligible to lay people.
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"