Sunday, May 31, 2009

This week in persecuted church history (May 31-June 6)

Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Hebrews 13:7b (ESV)

May 31, 1578: Italian archaeologist Antonio Bosio discovers the Christian catacombs in Rome. Some have mistaken them for places of refuge or worship, but Christians used them mainly as burial chambers.

June 1, 165: Justin, an early Christian apologist, is beheaded with his disciples for their faith. "If we are punished for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, we hope to be saved," he said just before his death. Christians soon named him Justin Martyr.

June 3, 1647: The Puritan British Parliament bans Christmas and other holidays.

June 3, 2007: As they are leaving the Church of the Holy See in Mosul, Iraq, Father Ragheed Ganni (35), Basman Yusef, Waheed Isho and Ghasan Bidawid are shot killed when some armed men force them out of their vehicle and shoot them.

June 4, 2007: Three Christian guards are killed when the St. Jacob Church near the Asia Neighbourhood of Dora. Iraq is looted. Local Muslims intended to turn the building into a mosque. That same day, the St. John the Baptist Church near the Assyrian quarter of the district is also looted.

June 5, 754: English monk Boniface, missionary to Germany, dies with 50 other Christians in an attack by angry pagans. The missionary, famous for smashing pagan idols, also established a monastery at Fulda that is still the center of Roman Catholicism in Germany.

June 5, 1414: Bohemian reformer Jan Hus appears before the Council of Constance. Instead of allowing him to state his beliefs, the council only permitted him to answer trumped-up charges of heresy. Hus was condemned and burned the following July.

June 5, 2005: An eight-year-old girl named Denkenesh is stabbed to death by a witch doctor in Alalaba, Ethiopia. He had repeatedly told her Christian family that their prayers hindered his contact with the spirits.

June 6, 2004: Mobs armed with sticks attack four churches on the southwestern outskirts of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

(source: Christianity Today, The Voice of the Martyrs)

Prayer: “Grant that we, who now remember these before thee, may likewise so bear witness unto thee in this world, that we may receive with them the crown of glory that fadeth not away; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – taken from The Book of Common Prayer, Canada (1962)

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