Sunday, August 16, 2009

This week in persecuted church history (August 16-22)

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

china_ayuan August 16, 2005: Allen Yuan (Yuan, Xiang Chen), well known and well loved house church pastor in Beijing, who endured more than 20 years of suffering in China's prisons and labour camps, dies in hospital in Beijing at 4 p.m. Brother Yuan was 91 years old.

August 16, 2007: Eritrean authorities issue an ultimatum to Catholic church leaders ordering that all of the church's schools, clinics, orphanages and women's vocational training centres be turned over to the government's Ministry of Social Welfare and Labour.

Thomas PandipallyAugust 16, 2008: Catholic priest Thomas Pandipally (38) is tortured and killed in Nizamabad District, Andhra Pradesh, India. He suffered more than 30 stab injuries and was hit in the head with sticks and boulders.78px-CareyEngraving

August 17, 1761: William Carey, one of the earliest missionaries to India and known the "father of modern missions", is born in Northamptonshire, England.

August 17, 2006: Members of the anti-Christian "Muene" sect kill a Catholic priest and plundered the Kizu Parish, near Tshela, in the northern Bas-Congo province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  One of the parish priests, upon seeing the assailants, flees into nearby forest while a second priest is tied up and flogged to death.

August 18, 328: Helena was the mother of Constantine, the first christianized Emperor of the Roman Empire, dies. Many historians credit her for having a great influence on her son in implementing religious freedom in the Roman Empire.

August 18, 1688: John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress preaches his last sermon, in London

August 19, 302: Andrew, a Roman general, is bound, tortured and killed on this day, about 8 a.m. with 2,593 other soldiers who had become Christians.

August 19, 2003: Eritrean military commanders search the belonging of Christian conscripts' belongings, looking for Bibles. Sixty-two Protestant students are arrested, tortured, and put into metal shipping containers where they are subjected to no light, extreme heat, and limited air and food.

August 20, 1527: The so-called Martyrs Synod is called as sixty Anabaptist leaders meet in Augsburg to solidify their positions on such things as taking oaths and to plan a strategy for evangelizing Europe. Of those sixty men, all but three will be dead within five years, most by persecution at the hands of other "Christians." Among them were the famous Hans Schlaffer, Hans Hut and Hans Denck.

kovic August 20, 1884: Rev. Emilian Kovch is born near Kosiv, Ukraine. Ordained to the Ukrainian Orthodox priesthood in 1911, he bravely carried out his priestly duties during the Second World War, preaching love to people regardless of their nationality and rescuing Jews from the invading Nazis. He was arrested by the Gestapo on December 30, 1942. He displayed heroic bravery in the concentration camp, encouraging prisoners who were sentenced to death from falling into despair. He was gassed and burned in the ovens of the Majdanek Nazi death camp on March 25, 1944.

250px-Joseph_Martin_Kronheim_-_Foxe's_Book_of_Martyrs_Plate_II_-_Death_of_Admiral_de_ColignyAugust 22, 1572: An attempt is made in Paris to assassinate Huguenot leader and French patriot Lord Gaspard de Coligny. Wounded, he returns home to recover. Two days later Coligny is killed as a servant of the Duke of Guise plunges a sword through Coligny's breast and throws his body out of a window at his master's feet. Coligny finally died when another of Guise's associates chops off his head. The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre begins and thousands of Protestants are killed.

August 22, 1964: Bishop Simeon Lukach dies of tuberculosis while imprisoned for his faith in a Soviet prison.

(sources: Christianity Today, Glimpses of Church History, 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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