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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April 23, 1073: Hildebrand is elected pope, taking the name Gregory VII. The first pope to excommunicate a ruler (Henry IV), Gregory was driven out of Rome in 1084. "I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity," were his last words, "therefore I died in exile.

April 23, 1538: John Calvin and William Farel (whom Calvin was assisting) are banished from Geneva. The Day before, Easter SunDay , both had refused to administer communion, saying the city was too full of vice to partake. Three years later, ...

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