December 26: Today in Christian History

December 26, 795

Election of Leo III as pope. Five years later he will crown Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor.

December 26, 1790

Ordination of Sattyanadan Pillai (also spelled Satyanathan), the first Tamil missionary of the Lutheran Church in India. Sattyanadan will serve as pastor-teacher in Tirunelveli and will be one of the leaders in a movement of mass conversion of Indians to Christianity.

December 26, 1830

Death in Dingapore, India, of Baptist pastor Ignatius Fernandez, the first indigenous Indian pastor of that town, who had established a paper plant to provide work for the support of the local congregation.

December 26, 1912

MacKay Memorial Hospital is established in Taipei in honor of Presbyterian missionary George Leslie Mackay, founder of a clinic which became the basis of the hospital. It will develop into one of the largest medical centers in Taiwan, and will retain deep Presbyterian roots.

December 26, 1937

Bolsheviks shoot Isaac the Younger, a “holy father” of the Russian Orthodox Church associated with the teachings of the former Optina Monastery eighty miles north of Moscow.

Read: Christian Drama Script - Laziness (Hindrance to Divine Abundance)

December 26, 1948

Hungarian authorities arrest Cardinal Josef Mindszenty, an outspoken critic of communism. Fearful that he will break under torture, he scribbles a note to his mother: “I have taken no part in any conspiracy of any kind. I shall not resign from my episcopal see. I shall not make a confession. But if despite what I now say you should read that I have confessed or resigned, and even see it authenticated by my signature, bear in mind that it will have been only the result of human frailty. In advance, I declare all such actions null and void.” He will spend eight years in prison and fifteen more in asylum in the United States embassy.

December 26, 1952

Demos Shakarian, founder of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International, sees so little success that he announces the meeting of this date will be the last. However, he has a vision the night before of dead men in chains coming to life and this changes his mind. From that day things change and the fellowship grows into a huge international movement with over one thousand chapters world wide and results in the conversion of hundreds of thousands of people.

December 26, 1968

Death in Oregon of historian Kenneth Scott Latourette. His most famous book was his seven-volume History of the Expansion of Christianity.

December 26, 1994

Nigerian Christians falsely accused of defecating on a Koran are dragged out of jail and beheaded by a mob.

December 26, 2004

A tsunami from a strong earthquake devastates towns along India’s eastern shore that have large Christian populations.

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