January 3: Today in Christian History

January 3: Today in Christian History

January 3, 1521

Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificum for having challenged practices of the Roman Catholic Church and refusing to recant as required in Exsurge Domine, an earlier bull.

January 3, 1638

Shogunate warriors defeat Christian and peasant rebels who retreat to Shimabara where they capture the fortress at Hara. After the rebellion is put down, Christianity will be outlawed in Japan.

January 3, 1853

Presbyterians in Chicago pass resolutions against slavery, declaring it “a gross invasion of the natural rights of man and a grievous outrage upon the principles of that civil liberty we enjoy and that Protestant Christianity [that] we profess, a moral wrong which must be offensive to God, and which is most injurious to the temporal prosperity and happiness and to the spiritual wellbeing of all connected with it.”

January 3, 1918

Death at Bennington, Vermont, of Annie Sherwood Hawks, Baptist hymnwriter, best known for the hymn “I need thee every hour.”

January 3, 1927

Fray Luis (Dr. Walter Montaño), having fled a Dominican monastery, kneels in prayer beside Protestant missionary Charles A. Patton, and yields himself to Christ as Savior. Montaño will become a well-known Protestant evangelist throughout Latin America.

January 3, 1930

Kenyan zealots who insist on female circumcision murder elderly missionary Hilda Stumpf of the Africa Inland Mission (who opposed the practice) and multilate her body.

January 3, 1930

Soviets sentence several nuns to exile in the north: Theodora, Anna, Darya, Anysia, and Agrippina. They will not be heard from again.

January 3, 1963

Peter Vashchenko and several other Russian Christians, desperate after years of mistreatment, which included having their children sent to juvenile homes to live with unmanageable delinquents, overwhelm the policeman at the gates of the American embassy in Moscow and enter, seeking asylum in the West. Their complicated story will cover three decades.

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