Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Hebrews 13:7b (ESV)
- 257: Saturninus, a missionary-bishop is killed in in Toulouse when local religious leaders, enraged by the impact that his preaching was having in their community, seized and chained him and gave him the ultimatum of worshipping their gods or be killed. When he refused, they whipped him and then brought in a bull that they had intended to use as a sacrifice in their temple. They tied Saturninus to the animal and then set it loose, dragging the faithful bishop to his death.
- 1847: Missionary physician Marcus Whitman, his wife, and 12 others are killed by American Indians in Washington's Walla Walla valley. Whitman had recently returned from a 3,000-mile journey to convince the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions not to close down one of his three mission stations. He was successful, and returned with a fresh group of immigrants—and the measles virus. Many Indians died of the disease, some of them because Whitman gave them vaccinations. The Indians accused Whitman and other missionaries of black magic and murdered them.
- 2003: Christians I Made Simson and Ketut Sarmon are shot and killed by Islamists and four others injured in the village of Kilotrans, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. In the village of Morowa, two others Christians, Ruslan Parrafik and Ririn Bode, are shot dead when attackers on motorcycles opened fire on villagers who had gathered for prayer at a church.
- 2005: Swedish pastor Ake Green is acquitted on charges that he had violated the country's hate propaganda laws.
- 1554: The English Parliament present a supplication to King Philip and Queen Mary for restoration of the Roman Catholic church, making it the official religion of England. During Mary's five-year reign, hundreds are killed for insisting that salvation was to be found only in Christ and that Scripture was the believer's authority.
- 1725: Martin Boehm is born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A Mennonite bishop, he was excluded from the Mennonite communion because of his less conservative views and association with persons of other sects. He later joined with Philip W. Otterbein and others to form the United Brethren in Christ Church.
- 2005: Pamong Praja police bulldoze five church buildings in an area of Tangerang county, Indonesia while church members stand in front of their buildings and watch. When the churches initially heard about the proposed demolitions, they requested a delay until after Christmas. However, at 11:00 a.m., hundreds of local security officials moved in. They cleared the buildings of their contents and destroyed the buildings. The five churches were the Indonesia Protestant Christian Church, Indonesia Pentecost Church, Protestant Batak Christian Huria Church, Indonesia Haleluyah Pentecost Church, and Indonesia Bethel Church. Officials claim that the church buildings violated residential bylaws. Church leaders believe, however, that political interests motivated the destruction.
- 2007: The Alberta Human Rights Commission rules that Stephen Boissoin and the Concerned Christian Coalition violate Alberta's human rights law in a letter published in the Red Deer Advocate in 2002. The ruling states that the letter was "likely to expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt because of their sexual preference."
- 1170: Banished earlier by king Henry II because he sided with the church against the crown, archbishop of Canterbury Thomas a Becket returns to England, electrifying the country. Henry orders his former friend's execution, and Becket is slain by four knights while at vespers on December 29.
- 1521: Pope Leo X, enemy of Martin Luther (whom he excommunicated in 1520), dies.
- 1989: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II meet at the Vatican, announcing an agreement to re-establish diplomatic ties. Gorbachev also denounced 70 years of religious oppression in his country
- 1980: Three American nuns and a lay churchwoman are killed by death squads in El Salvador.
- 1552: Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier, one of the founding members of his order and one of the greatest missionaries ever, dies awaiting admission to China. Before that, he had converted 700,000 people in Portugal, India, Indonesia, Japan, and elsewhere.
- 1572: Mattheus Bernaerts, Adriaen Rogiers, Maerten Van Der Straten and Dingentgen of Honschoten are burned at the stake in Ghent, Flanders because of their testimony of Christ.
- 1573: Two sisters, Susanneken and Kalleken Claes are publicly burned at the stake with their mouth gagged to prevent them from speaking about Christ to the crowd in Ghent, Flanders
- 1917: The Bolsheviks in Russia confiscate all church lands.
- 2005: At least twenty-five members of Dharma Sena, a militant Hindu group, attack a church in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The mob severely beat four of those present, including two visiting speakers. The four Christians and an area pastor who was dragged from his home are forcibly taken to a local Hindu temple. The militants try to force them to bow before the idols and proclaim, "Victory be to the god Ram." The Christians refuse. One of the guest speakers, Masih Das Rai, says to them, "You can kill me, but I will not bow down to the idol." Rai had been previously accused by Dharma Sena of forcibly converting people to Christianity.
- 1527: Hans Schlaffer is arrested by local Roman Catholic authorities in Schwaz, Austria. In nearby Frundsberg Castle, they torture him and priests interrogate him about his beliefs on baptism and faith in Christ. Two months later, he was beheaded for his convictions.
- 1572: Willem De Rijcker and Christoffel Fierens are strangled and then burned at the stake in Meenen, Flanders as heretics by local Roman Catholic authorities because of their anabaptist beliefs.
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)