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Christian History

Today in Christian History

March 8

March 8, 1698: British missionary Thomas Bray and four laymen found the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (S.P.C.K.) "to advance the honor of God and the good of mankind by promoting Christian knowledge both at home and in the other parts of the world by the best methods that should offer.

March 8, 1715: France's Louis XIV announces he has finally put an end to all Protestant practices in his country (see issue 71: Huguenots and the Wars of Religion).

March 8, 1782: Ninety-six Native Americans, who had converted to Christianity and were living peacefully in the Moravian Brethren town of Gnadenhutten (near New Philadelphia), Ohio, are killed by militiamen in "retaliation" for Indian raids made elsewhere in the Ohio territory.

March 8, 1887: Congregational minister Henry Ward Beecher, an impassioned abolitionist and the most famous American preacher of his day, dies at age 73 (see issue 33: Christianity and the Civil War).

March 8, 1948: The U.S. Supreme Court finds religious education in the public schools in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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April 22, 1418: The Council of Constance ends, having finally ended the Great Western Schism. When the schism began nearly 40 years earlier, three men had reasonable claims to the papacy. The council deposed all three and elected Martin V. (Martin then turned around and rejected further councils' right to depose a pope.) Though that part of the council is regarded as a triumph, the council also hastily condemned Jan Hus, a Bohemian preacher and forerunner of Protestantism, and sentenced him to execution ...

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