December 30: Today in Christian History

December 30: Today in Christian History

December 30, 1097

During the siege of Antioch the ground shakes, the heavens glow red, and the crusaders spot a great light in the form of a cross.

December 30, 1853

Death while suffering from elephantitis of Moravian missionary Mary Hartmann, who had labored in the outback of Surinam alone after the death of her husband to hold together and extend a church as well as industries.

December 30, 1892

Death in Glasgow of Andrew Bonar, who had been moderator of the Scottish Free Church and authored many books, including a biography of Robert Murray McCheyne.

December 30, 1896

Execution of José Rizal, a Filipino patriot and doctor, who had sometimes espoused Christianity, and who had urged his followers to act as Christ taught, not as the Spanish conquerors behaved. He was author of the novel Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not), a social protest, and had formed revolutionary organizations.

December 30, 1906

Death of Josephine Butler in Northumberland, England. Having witnessed her beloved daughter plunge to death before her eyes, Butler had sought a task assisting those even more broken-hearted than herself. As a consequence, she had championed downtrodden women and brought assistance and the gospel to prostitutes.

December 30, 1922

The Bolshevik government exiles Orthodox thinkers Sergius Bulgakov and Nicholas Berdyaevis among one hundred and sixty prominent intellectuals.

December 30, 1925

The silent film Ben Hur, based on Lew Wallace’s novel of the time of Christ, opens at the George M. Cohan Theater in New York City and receives rave reviews.

December 30, 1927

The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel is incorporated in Los Angeles, California. Founded four years earlier by evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, its vision is to present Jesus Christ in the language, culture, and understanding of every man, woman and child and in every nation

December 30, 1934

Death in Chicago of Frances Joseph Gaudet, an African-American / Native-American educator and prison reformer, organizer of prison prayer meetings, founder of the Gaudet Normal and Industrial School in Louisiana, and a delegate to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s international convention in 1900.

December 30, 1993

The Vatican and Israel sign the Fundamental Agreement Beween the Holy See and the State of Israel which protects church property and traditional sacred spots in Israel, the rights of Christians, and the freedom to teach and train Christians. Both parties promise to uphold human freedom and the right to worship. Both deplore anti-Semitism. Diplomatic ties between the two parties commence as soon as the agreement is signed.

December 30, 1997

Death in Indiana of Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder, who had argued for pacifism in his influential book The Politics of Jesus. His theological stature was undercut by widespread accusations of sexual harrassment against women.

December 30, 2002

An Islamic militant shoots and kills three US Christian missionaries working at a Baptist-run hospital in Yemen. William Koehn, the administrator of Jibla Baptist hospital, Kathleen Gariety, a supplies purchaser, and medical doctor Martha Myers all die instantly from bullets to the head. Pharmacist Donald Caswell is left in critical condition with abdominal wounds, but will recover.

December 30, 2011

Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton, head of the Full Gospel Church in Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa Province, is sentenced to two years’ house arrest for collecting documents and writing articles that “tarnish” the Communist regime’s reputation.

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