February 17: Today in Christian History

February 17: Today in Christian History

February 17, 661

Death of Finan, bishop of Lindisfarne (an island in the North Sea), who had sought to preserve Celtic customs against Roman influence.

February 17, 1600

Pantheist philosopher and occult practitioner Giordano Bruno is burned alive by secular authorities to whom the Roman Inquisition hands him over after an eight year investigation and trial.

February 17, 1791

Methodist evangelist John Wesley becomes ill after preaching at Lambeth and will die on March 2nd.

February 17, 1821

Levi Parsons arrives in Jerusalem, the first Protestant missionary to found a permanent mission in that city.

February 17, 1828

Representative John Quincy Adams comments in his diary on the overly-crowded conditions of the church that meets inside the Capitol building in Washington.

February 17, 1898

Death of Frances Willard, a Methodist crusader for prohibition and women’s rights.

February 17, 1912

Death of John Nelson “Praying” Hyde, who had served as a missionary in India. His last words were, “Shout the victory of Jesus Christ!” He had recently undergone surgery for a malignant tumor of the brain.

February 17, 1926

Arrest of Dr. Kao, a Chinese Christian who had moved into the pagan city of Gan-djou to act as a Christian witness. Authorities are angry at him for exposing criminal activities in the city government. He will suffer in jail for many months.

February 17, 1977

Death of Orestes (Chornock) of Agathonikeia, who had helped draw thirty-seven Catholic uniate parishes in North America back to Orthodoxy after years of conflict with Rome, which wanted to Latinize the churches and end priestly marriages. Orestes became the first ruling bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.

February 17, 2001

Death of Richard Wurmbrandt, Romanian-born founder of the Voice of the Martyrs and of ministries to Eastern Europe during the Communist era.

February 17, 2008

Two members of the Home Guard, bribed by a man who is furious that his wife converted to Christianity, assassinate Pastor Samson Neil Edirisinghe in Ampara, Sri Lanka, critically injuring Edirisinghe’s wife and wounding their two-year-old son.


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