Sunday, August 02, 2009

This week in persecuted church history (August 2-8)

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

August 2, 1100: William the Conqueror's son and successor Rufus, a wicked king who delighted in torture, seizing church property, and blasphemy, is mysteriously killed while hunting by an arrow that flew out of nowhere. No one mourned, and England took his eternal damnation for granted.hegazy

August 2, 2007: A Christian convert from Islam, Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy (24), brings a case against Egypt's interior ministry for rejecting his application to replace Islam with Christianity on his personal identification papers. [See VOMC’s new Egyptian Voices video for a recent interview with Hegazy]

August 3, 2008: Sakineh Rahnama dies from injuries suffered during a raid on the church meeting in her home by Iranian police on July 17. Her husband had died on July 30, also from his injuries.

August 4, 1792: By order of revolutionaries, all houses of worship close in France.

August 5, 1570: Spanish Jesuits, intent on converting the Native Americans, arrive in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. Six months later, Native Americans massacred the group, and the Jesuits ended their work in the region.

August 5, 1656: Eight Quakers from England arrive in Boston, where Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony immediately imprisoned them without trial. They were held until the ships that brought them were ready to take them back to England.

August 5, 2006: A Mongolian missionary, Wu Guilan (50), is sentenced to one year of "re-education through labour" because of her evangelistic work among the people of Inner Mongolia, China. She is convicted of "spreading heresies," including the belief that "one should believe in the heavenly God instead of worshipping Genghis Khan, which is useless." The sentencing came nine days after she was arrested for organizing a cult.

screenshot August 5, 2007: A Full Gospel church building is bombed during a worship service in the city of Jijiga in eastern Ethiopia. Hundreds of Christians are present at the time of the attack but none of the believers are seriously injured. The roof of the building is damaged during the blast. Local Christians suspect that the bombers were Muslim militants; several violent attacks on Christians had already occurred in Jijiga where ninety-nine percent of the population is Muslim. [click here to see a video taken of the service when the bombing took place]

August 5, 2008: Eritrean authorities lock up eight Christian students of the Sawa Defense Training Centre in metal shipping containers for objecting to the burning of hundreds of Bibles that had been confiscated from new students. While setting the books on fire, a chief commander warns the students that the centre is a place of patriotism, not a place for "Pentes" (Pentecostals). When the eight male students protest the burning, they are taken into custody and imprisoned in the metal containers that authorities often use to imprison Christians found practicing their faith.

August 6, 258: Emperor Valerian executes Bishop of Rome Sixtus II preaching a sermon in a cemetery. The emperor originally tolerated Christians, but switched to persecuting them because he believed they were responsible for the plagues, earthquakes, and other disasters that disturbed his reign.

August 8, 2007: Dr. Adel Fawzy Faltas (61) and Peter Ezzat (23), two members of an international Christian rights organization, Middle East Christian Association (MECA), are arrested by the police in Cairo, Egypt. The men arere reportedly arrested in connection with the case of Mohammed Hegazy, a Christian convert from Islam who was in a court battle to have his conversion legally recognized (see above August 2, 2007).

(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)

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