March 18: Today in Christian History

March 18, 386

Death of Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, notable for lectures and writings that influenced the development of Lent and Passion Week observances throughout the entire church.

March 18, 978

In Saxon England, youthful Edward “the Martyr” is assassinated at the instigation of Queen Elfrida who wants to place his half-brother Ethelred on the throne. Although this is a political assassination, Edward’s piety and defense of the church has been such that the priests and common people consider him a martyr. Rome will include him in its roll of those who died for the faith.

March 18, 1123

The First Lateran Council opens in Rome. Convoked by Pope Callistus II, it mainly repeats and confirms earlier decrees but is the first “ecumenical” council held in the West.

March 18, 1314

Philip the Fair of France burns thirty-nine Knights Templar at the stake in Paris on charges which appear trumped up. He wishes to seize their wealth.

March 18, 1582

In Antwerp, Juan de J√°uregui attempts to assassinate William of Orange, the Protestant leader of the Netherlands.

March 18, 1612

Bartholomew Legate becomes the last person burned to death in England for heterodox religious opinions.

March 18, 1728

Death at Lewisham of George Stanhope, a moderate leader in church politics and one of the commissioners that oversaw the building of fifty churches in London after the great fire.

March 18, 1813

Abdul Masih [a.k.a. Shekh Salih], a convert from Islam to Christianity, arrives in Agra, where he works wholeheartedly as an evangelist and educator. When he preaches out of doors, Muslims will crowd the rooftops to hear him.

March 18, 1830

Death at Goruckpore of Seeta-Ram, who, despite ill health, and all that it cost him in social ostracism, had shared the gospel publicly and privately for about twelve years with his Hindu compatriots.

March 18, 1968

Death in Pasadena, California, of Charles Edward Fuller, founder of Fuller Theological Seminary and well-known as the voice of the radio program The Old Fashioned Revival Hour. 

March 18, 1980

Muslim students at the University of Alexandria threaten Mr. Edmonds, a Christian student, demanding he denounce his faith or die. When he refuses, they beat him unconscious and leave him with a broken arm.

March 18, 1983

Death of Catherine Marshall in Boynton Beach, Florida. She was a Christian writer of talent and influence, author of A Man Called Peter, the biography of her first husband, Peter Marshall.

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