February 29: Today in Christian History

February 29: Today in Christian History

February 29, 684

Death of Barbas, bishop of Benevento, who after years of fruitless endeavor, persuaded the inhabitants of Benevento to give up idolatry and other sins during a siege of their city.

February 29, 1528

Reformer Patrick Hamilton is six hours dying when burned at the stake in Scotland for his faith.

February 29, 1692

Beginning of the Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts with the accusation of Tituba, a female Indian servant, and Sarah Good.

February 29, 1704

A party of over three hundred French and Indians fighters attack Deerfield, Massachusetts, capturing a number of settlers, including the minister John Williams, who will write an account of his ordeal, The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion.

February 29, 1840

Repose (death) of St Meletius, the Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Kharkov and Akhtyr. After Communion, he says “Now lettest Thou Thy Servant depart in peace,” makes the sign of the cross, asks forgiveness of all, and breathes his last. He had been known for his intensive efforts in behalf of the needy, for carrying the gospel to unevangelized tribes, and for visiting his entire diocese faithfully.

February 29, 1948

Richard Wurmbrandt, a Lutheran pastor in Romania, is arrested on his way to church. He will spend many years in prison for his faith and be tortured many times. Upon his ransom and release to the west, he will write Tortured for Christ and found Voice of the Martyrs, an organization to raise awareness for and assist Christian victims of religious persecution world wide.

February 29, 1956

Death in Uganda of Hamu Lujonza Kaddu Mukasa, a faithful friend of the Anglican Church, whose courageous military leadership had helped preserve the Christian church in his nation at a crucial moment.

February 29, 1988

More than one hundred South African clergy march from St. George’s Anglican Cathedral to confront Parliament, demanding an end to apartheid.


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