Today in Christian History

January 3

January 3, 1521: Pope Leo X creates a bull of excommunication for Martin Luther that would have deprived him of civil rights and protection, but before its execution, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V allows Luther the opportunity to recant his beliefs at the Diet of Worms. When Luther instead affirms his beliefs, the bull is carried out (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

January 3, 1785: The Methodist "Christmas Conference" concludes at Baltimore, Maryland, having created the Methodist Episcopal Church in America and elected Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke its two first "general superintendents" (see issue 2: John Wesley and issue 69: Charles and John Wesley).

January 3, 1840: Joseph de Veuster, who, as Roman Catholic Missionary Father Damien gave his life ministering to lepers in Hawaii, is born in Tremelo, Belgium.

January 3, 1892: Literature professor J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and a devout Catholic, is born in Bloemfontein, South Africa (see issue 7: C.S. Lewis).

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April 30, 304: The last and most punishing anti-Christian edict during Roman Emperor Diocletian's reign is published. The ensuing carnage was so horrific that it was said even the coliseum lions got tired. The man behind the edict,Augustus Galerius, finally issued an edict of toleration on April 30, 311—just Days before dying of a disease known as "being eaten with worms" (see issue 27: Persecution in the Early Church).

April 30, 418: Roman Emperor Honorius (395-423) issues a decree against ...

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