Today in Christian History

December 15

December 15, 1418: English pre-Reformer John Oldcastle is burned alive for his efforts to preserve and promote the cause of the Lollards (preachers who spread John Wycliffe's views). Shakespeare reportedly based his character Falstaff on Oldcastle (see issue 3: John Wycliffe).

December 15, 1900: Count Leo Tolstoy writes to the tsar asking him to end religious persecution in Russia.

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January 19, 1086: Canute the Great, the king of Denmark, is killed by his subjects. Though Denmark was already nominally Christian when he became king, he went to great lengths to revitalize the faith. He built and restored churches and monasteries and created laws protecting the clergy. But his "new order," which included higher taxes and mandatory tithes, led to a revolt. Canute was reportedly killed in church while celebrating Mass, and he was declared a martyr and saint in 1101 (see issue 63: ...

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