Today in Christian History

February 13

February 13, 1633: Called to trial by the Inquisition, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome ready to explain his belief that the earth revolves around the sun. He was compelled to recant the view, and was placed under house arrest until his death in 1642 (see issue 76: Christian Face of the Scientific Revolution).

February 13, 1826: The American Temperance Society (later renamed the American Temperance Union) is founded in Boston to promote total (but voluntary) abstinence from distilled liquor. Among the 16 founders were Protestant clergymen.

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February 27, 280: Constantine, the first Roman emperor converted to Christianity, is born. Though some scholars question the authenticity of Constantine's conversion (which came after he saw a vision on the battlefield), the emperor did seek to settle church controversies by calling the Council of Nicea in 325 (see issue 57: Converting the Empire).

February 27, 380: Roman emperor Theodosius makes Christianity the official law of the land. "It is our will," he decreed, "that all the peoples we rule ...

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