Sunday, September 06, 2009

This week in persecuted church history (September 6-12)

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

September 6, 1620: With 101 colonists and 48 crew members aboard, the Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England. Thirty-five colonists board ship, Separatists from maximsandoLeiden, Holland, and later known as the Pilgrims.

September 6, 1914: Orthodox priest Maxim Sandovich is executed in the village of Grab in the Carpathian region of Ukraine. He was denied any form of Church burial and his father buried him with his own hands.

September 7, 1678: Macarius the Archimandrite of Kanev and Pereyaslavl is beheaded. During an invasion of Ukraine, Turkish soldiers came to the monastery where Macarius served and demanded the monk hand over to them the monastery treasury. When he replied that his treasure was in Heaven, the furious soldiers hung him hand and foot between two posts for two days before beheading him.

September 7, 1807: English missionary Robert Morrison, 25, becomes the first Protestant missionary in China. Catholic missionaries had already been there for some 225 years—Jesuit Matteo Ricci first arrived in 1582.

September 7, 2003: Twelve evangelical Christians are arrested in Asmara, Eritrea while worshipping in a private home.  They are told that they will stay in detention until they deny their faith.

September 7, 2006: Ali Mustaf Maka'il, a convert from Islam, is shot and killed in Mogadishu, Somalia by Islamists when he refuses to join them in their Muslim prayers

kung_sm September 8, 1955: Chinese communists arrest Bishop Ignatius Kung Min Pei and about 320 other Roman Catholics. Many of these people would suffer long years in prison, known no longer by their names, but by numbers. For five years, Bishop Kung was held in prison without a trial. Finally he was convicted of treason and sentenced to life. While in prison, Bishop Kung was named a cardinal. The Communists finally released him after three decades of captivity and placed him under house arrest. In 1988, Cardinal Kung was permitted to leave China and take up residence in the United States.

alexander_menSeptember 9, 1990:  Father Alexander Men is killed with a blow to the back of his head from an axe, the traditional Russian weapon of revenge, while walking along the wooded path from his home in the Russian village of Semkhoz to the local train platform. Called “the apostle to the intellectuals,” Men was one of the most popular Russian Orthodox theologians of the 20th century.china_dingxian_asianews

September 9, 2007: Bishop John Han Dingxian (71), an underground Chinese bishop who was repeatedly detained for his faith since 1960 and who had been placed in solitary confinement in an unknown location for the last two years, of his life, dies under suspicious circumstances.

September 10, 2008: Rayan Nafei Jamooa is killed by a group of armed militants in Mosul, Iraq. The murder occurred only two weeks after his Christian father, Nassar Jamooa, was kidnapped and killed by unidentified assailants. Although there are often financial motivations behind the kidnapping of Christians in the country, a local clergyman noted that ransom money was not requested in either case and maintains that these men were targeted strictly because of their faith in Christ.

September 11: The annual feast of Nayrouz celebrated worlwide by the Coptic Orthodox Church commemorating church martyrs and confessors (someone who has suffered persecution and torture for the faith but not to the point of death). The Feast of Nayrouz marks the first day of the Coptic calendar year (identified by the abbreviation A.M. for Anno Martyrum or "Year of the Martyrs"), year one being 284 AD, the year Diocletian became Roman emperor. His reign was marked by a massive persecution of Christians, especially in Egypt.

September 12, 1795: Metropolitan Dositheus is tortured and killed by Persian soldiers who had conquered Tbilisi, Georgia, slaughtering its population and completely destroying the city. He is killed after he refuses their demand that he renounce his faith and defile the cross the cross.

September 12, 2006: A U.S. judge dismisses the lawsuit against Canadian petroleum company, Talisman Energy which accused it of complicity in human rights violations in Sudan.

(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)


Anonymous said...

I question the validity of eulogising Roman Catholic prelates since the R.C. church has historically persecuted Christians who espouse Christ and reject the "holy father"(the pope) and other idolotrous practices such as the worship of Mary the mother of Jesus, statues,etc.since the time of the Romans, the inquisition and even today-I was personally hounded by that church when I criticised their idolatry-the parish priests told their parishoners to run me out of town more than once and I lost my job, home and business as a result. The bible in Revelations calls that church "the woman drunken with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus"(Rev.17,6). This is the most accepted protestant interpretation, and virtually all the leaders of the reformation such as Luther and Calvin called the pope the antichrist. Tom Hanig

Glenn Penner said...

I respect your opinion, Tom, even if I do not agree with you. We can learn from the past, for certain. We need not live there, however, or continue to repeat the mistakes of the past. Are you suggesting that these Chinese bishops suffered in vain? Perhaps this is something best left in the hands of the Almighty.

I also think that Calvin and Luther had a most unfortunate understanding of Revelation; one that virtually no serious biblical scholar holds today. By no means, is this the most accepted protestant interpretation.

Brian said...

We must all pray for our brothers and sisters in chains. Heb 13:3. As well as our enemies and the ones who are persecuting the faithful in Christ. Matthew 5:44