Sunday, July 05, 2009

This week in persecuted church history (July 5-11)

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

July 5, 2003: Father George Ibrahim is brutally murdered in the early hours of the day as six armed assailants enter his home in Renala Khord, Pakistan and shoot him and his parish assistant.

July 5, 2007: Two Pentecostal pastors are shot and killed by assailants suspected to be members of the leftist guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the village of El Dorado. At approximately 8:00 p.m., a group of armed men wearing camouflage clothing take Pastor Humberto Mendez (63) and Pastor Joel Cruz Garcia (27) from their homes. The next day, both of their bodies are found with gunshot wounds to the head.

July 5, 2007:  Rev. Pau Za Khen (62), pastor of the Upper Myanmar Evangelical Lutheran Church, is beheaded by an unidentified group in the town of Churachanpur, Manipur, India.  Pastor Khen was abducted from his daughter's home by four men the day before. His decapitated body is found in a field outside of town the following morning. His hands are tied behind his back and he is blindfolded.

July 6, 1054: Church legates of the Roman pope march into the church of Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and place a bull on the altar, excommunicating him. So began of the Great Schism between the Catholics and the Orthodox.small-huss-burned

July 6, 1415: Jan Hus, Bohemian preacher and forerunner of Protestantism, is burned as a heretic in Constance, Germany.

July 6, 1535: Sir Thomas More (b. 1478), who had recently resigned as Lord Chancellor of England, is executed for treason. He had sided with the pope against Henry VIII in the matter of the king's divorce. He was sentenced to be hanged, but Henry commuted the sentence to beheading.

July 7, 2007: Neng Mua is shot dead by Laotian authorities, one of 13 Christian villagers killed after being falsely accused of stirring rebel dissent.

July 8, 2005: A large mob forms north in eastern Ethiopia near Bahir Dar, intending to kill a local Ethiopian missionary named "Stephen". His house is burned and he is dragged into the bush.  Police managed to intervene, but the mob turn on the police and wound two of them. Stephen is taken into custody where police beat him and allow other prisoners to attack him.  He is finally released after paying 2000 Birr ($285.00 CDN). 

July 9, 1925: The Scopes "Monkey Trial" begins in Day ton, Tennessee, as John Scopes is tried for teaching evolution to his students. Though William Jennings Bryan, acting as prosecuting attorney, won the courtroom battle, the creationists lost where public opinion was concerned. Chagrined, fundamentalist Christians largely withdrew from American culture.

July 10, 2007: The Ministry of Cults and Religions in Cambodia bans Christian groups from door-to-door evangelism on the grounds that it "disrupts society."

Sayid Ali Sheik Luqman Hussein July 10, 2008: Twenty-eight-year-old Sayid Ali Sheik Luqman Hussein, a convert from Islam, is approached on July 8 by two Muslim men in in Afgyoye, a town 18 miles from Mogadishu, Somalia. They ask him if he faces Mecca when he prays. Hussein tells them that, as a Christian, he does not have to face a specific direction to pray because God is omnipresent. The two Muslim men return two days later armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a semi-automatic handgun and shoot Hussein to death.

July 11, 1656: Barbados expatriates Ann Austin and Mary Fisher become the first Quakers to arrive in America. Officials promptly arrest them and deport them back to England five weeks later.

July 11, 1681: Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, is executed, having been found guilty of treason. He was the last Catholic to die for his faith in England and the first Irish martyr to be beatified.

July 11, 1886: Protestant missionary Horace Underwood secretly baptizes Mr. Toh Sa No in Korea—the first recorded Protestant baptism in that country. However, an underground church was probably already active in Korea, begun by Korean workmen who had heard the gospel in China.

July 11, 2005: Four Americans participating in a Bible reading session in Mumbai, India are attacked by 30-40 Hindu youths because they believe the Americans are trying to convert Hindus.  Three of those attacked are treated for cuts and bruises but are not seriously hurt. While investigating the incident, officials decide that the Americans are in violation of their visitor's visa and order their deportation.

(sources: 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)


Anonymous said...

That was quite a week! Eunice

Glenn Penner said...

You should see next week!