Today in Christian History

March 15

March 15, 1517: Needing money to rebuild St. Peter's basilica, Pope Leo X announces a special sale of indulgences. A Dominican named Johann Tetzel led the way in promoting the sale in Germany and erroneously declared that indulgences would cover future sins (Leo's forgave all past sins). The teaching angered monk Martin Luther, who soon posted his 95 Theses in response (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

March 15, 1672: Charles II issues his first declaration of indulgence, suspending Parliament's legislation against Catholic and Protestant dissenters. He was soon forced to rescind the declaration, however, and the following year issued the Test Act, which drove Catholics out of public office.

March 15, 1953: Billy Graham holds his first integrated revival in Chattanooga, TN. Up to this point Graham accommodated southern whites by holding segregated revivals when in the South.

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June 25, 1115: St. Bernard founds a monastery at Clairvaux, France, that would soon become the center of the Cistercian religious order. The order had been established 17 years earlier to restore Benedictine monasticism to a more primitive and austere state, but it is Bernard who is most closely associated with it. He founded 70 Cistercian monasteries, which in turn founded another 100 in his lifetime (see issue 24: Bernard of Clairvaux).

June 25, 1530: Lutherans present their summary of faith, known ...

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