Sunday, November 15, 2009

This week in persecuted church history (November 15-21)

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

November 15

  • oxford_cross 1838: A group from the university of Oxford, England and the city meets at Town Hall and agree to ask the public for funds to erect a Gothic Cross atop a spire in Oxford to the memory of Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer and Thomas Cranmer, whose sacrifice they believed had been deliberately overlooked in a recently published church history book.  The work was completed in 1841.
  • 1885: Joseph Mukasa, a member of the royal family and a convert to Christianity, is beheaded in Uganda at the order of King Mwanga.
    Mwanga was cruel and wicked with little political sense. One of his early acts (January 1885) was to martyr three Protestant converts. Later that same year, his troops massacred Anglican bishop James martyr01Hannington and the Africans traveling with him.  Mukasa opposed  the killing of the bishop.  Also, being in charge of the palace pages, he was alarmed when he noticed that the king was sexually attracted to the young boys and hide them.  Angered, the king agreed to his Prime Minister Katikiro’s suggestion that Mukasa should be killed because he was leader of the young Christian community.

    Inspired by Mukasa's heroism, the church grew rapidly. Another convert, Charles Lwanga, took Mukasa's place in the palace and acted with the same integrity. The king roasted him over a slow fire. Many other converts were murdered in the next two years, but Mukasa was the first of the Catholic martyrs in Uganda.

November 16

  • 2008: Four Christians in the community of Santiago Teotlaxco, Oaxaca State, Mexico are jailed for refusing to participate or help pay for a festival that blends traditional native religions and Roman Catholicism.

November 17

  • 303: Romanus, a native of Palestine and deacon of the church of Caesarea, is ordered strangled to death having been brutally tortured by scourging, being put to the rack, his body torn with hooks, his flesh cut with knives, his face scared, his teeth knocked out, and his hair plucked up by the roots.
  • 1558: Elizabeth I's accession to the English throne leads to the re-establishment of the Church of England.
  • 2004: A 24-year-old new convert to Christianity in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines is seriously wounded by Muslim militants as he was making his way home from the market around 9:00 p.m. He was ambushed by three men and shot in the abdomen and the chest.

November 18

  • 1302: Pope Boniface VIII publishes "Unam Sanctam," declaring there is "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" outside of which there is "neither salvation nor remission of sins." Emphasizing the pope's position as Supreme Head of the Church, it also demanded that temporal powers subjugate themselves to spiritual ones.
  • 2007: Pastor Siddarama Gokhavi (60) and six other Christians are beaten by Bajrang Dal activists who attack them as they are worshiping in Ananda Nagara, Karnataka. The attackers vandalize the building, burn Bibles and chant slogans against Christians. The militants include a senior police officer. Pastor Gokhavi and his wife, Rekha, are injured in the attack, along with five others. The attackers accuse the Christians of coercing Hindus into becoming Christians.

November 19

  • 2003: A group of Christian pilgrims from Ecuador are deliberately targeted by a Palestinian terrorist as they prepare to enter Israel at the Eilat-Aqaba border crossing. One is killed and four others wounded.

November 20Edmundbeingmartyred05

  • 869: Edmund, king of East Anglia, is executed by the invading Danish Vikings when he refused to deny his Christian convictions as the condition of surrender.  He was then beaten with sticks, used as an archery target and eventually beheaded.
  • 1527: Weynken of Monickendam in burnt to death in the Hague after being interrogated by the local governor for converting to Protestantism.
  • 1541: In Switzerland, French reformer John Calvin, 32, established a theocratic government at Geneva, thereby creating a home base for emergent Protestantism throughout Europe.
  • 1806: Baptist preacher Isaac Backus, an influential voice in arguing for religious liberty in Massachusetts and later the United States, dies.
  • williams1839: Veteran missionary John Williams is killed and eaten by cannibals when he lands on Erromanga, New Hebrides (Vanuatu) to begin a new mission work.  Williams had successfully planted churches in Tahiti, the Samoan Islands, Raratonga and numerous other islands of the Pacific.  This was his first (and last) visit to the New Hebrides.

November 21

  • 235: Anterus is elected pope, a position he would hold for only a few weeks. According to the Liber pontificalis, he was martyred for ordering the "acts of the martyrs" to be written down and put in the church library.
  • 1570: Barbelken Goethals znd Saerken Van Duerhove are sentenced to death as heretics for being their anabaptist beliefs and brunt to death outside of the city of Ghent (in present day Belgium).
  • 1964: The third session of Vatican II closes with the approval of three documents. One of these, the "Decree on Ecumenism," declared both Catholics and Protestants to blame for past divisions and called for dialogue, not derision, in the future .
  • india_bashir_tantray 2006: Bashir Ahmed Tantray (50) is shot and killed while he was waiting by a bus stand in the village of Mamoosa, Barmullah. Eye-witness accounts claim that two young Muslim men came to the bus stand at 10:10 a.m. and started to inquire about bus timings. Then one of the militants took out a pistol and fired three rounds at Tantray at point-blank range. Tantray converted to Christianity ten years earlier and had been an active and widely known Christian worker in the state.

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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