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Christian History

Today in Christian History

February 25

February 25, 616 (traditional date): Ethelbert, the first Christian English king and instigator of the first written code of British law, dies.

February 25, 1570: Pope Pius V excommunicates England's Protestant Queen Elizabeth I, declaring her to be a usurper to the throne. It was the last time a pope "deposed" a reigning monarch.

February 25, 1536: Anabaptist Jakob Hutter is tortured, whipped, and immersed in freezing water (to mock baptismal practices), then doused with brandy and burned. King Ferdinand had ordered the persecution of all Anabaptists because of a few violent, millennialist revolutionaries in Munster, Germany—even though most Anabaptists were pacifists and renounced the Munsterite rebellion (see issue 5: Anabaptists and issue 61: The End of the World).

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May 22, 337: Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, dies. Though known for calling the Council of Nicaea (which condemned the Arian heresy) and for beginning the process of Christianizing the empire, he waited until just before his death before he finally accepted baptism into the church (see issue 57: Converting the Empire).

May 22, 452: Leo, bishop of Rome, sends three angry letters to protest the Council of Chalcedon's recent elevation of Constantinople to the preeminent see in ...

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