April 27: Today in Christian History

April 27, 304

Pollio is brought before a judge. When he declares he is a church reader, he is burned to death in Gibalea (later a city in Hungary).

April 27, 1570

Pope Pius V issues a bull against Queen Elizabeth of England, excommunicating her as “a heretic and favorer of heretics,” depriving her of her title to the crown, and forbidding all her subjects to obey her on threat of excommunication themselves. Elizabeth, however, will retain her throne and triumph over an attempted invasion by Catholic Spain, going down in history as one of England’s greatest monarchs.

April 27, 1650

A committee from Devon, England, recommends John Flavel as an assistant to an infirm rector at Diptford. The young man applies himself with much determination, becoming a notable Presbyterian clergyman and Puritan author, often persecuted by the government because his religious views do not conform to those of the Church of England.

April 27, 1697

Fénelon submits his book Explication des Maximes des Saints to the judgement of Rome after it is attacked by King Louis XIV and the bishops of France. Rome will eventually condemn its Quietist teachings, which, for example, say mature Christians should not seek reward from God.

April 27, 1930

Soviets sentence Orthodox priest Gabriel Nazarovich Denisov to death as a counter-revolutionary. He had been serving in the village of Rakity, Mikhailovsky region, Altai district. He will soon be shot.

April 27, 1930

Soviets sentence Orthodox priest Daniel Grigoryevich Bykov to death and shoot him three days later.

Authority for the date: Moss, Vladimir. Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Urals, Siberia and Central Asia.


Soviets arrest Orthodox clergyman Elijah Fyodorovich Yemelyanov, serving in the village of Smolenskoye, Smolensk region, Altai district. A month later he will be sentenced to death and in June will be shot.

April 27, 1946

The Orthodox Church of Ethiopia unanimously elects Meliktu Welde Mariam to become a bishop. In 1971 he will become the first patriarch (Patriarch Tewoflos) ordained in Ethiopia. Previously patriarchs had been ordained in Egypt.

April 27, 1955

Wanda Fricke, a nurse, arrives in New Guinea to open a medical mission work for the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. She will also author children’s stories.

April 27, 1960

Police in Nowa Huta, Poland, try to remove a cross. Women protest and men join to protect the women from police brutality. Riots develop and the rioters burn the Communist headquarters. This is one of many religious protests that force the Communists to grant a measure of religious tolerance to Poland. Eventually Polish faith will be a factor in bringing down the Communist regime.

April 27, 2011

A court in Khabarovsk, Russia, bans activity by Grace Pentecostal Church, alleging mental manipulation because of common Pentecostal behavior, such as laying on of hands and speaking in tongues.

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