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How not to pray

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees...



Death at Kronstadt, Transylvania (now Brasov, Romania), of Johannes Honter, a humanist scholar, theologian, and the reformer of Transylvania.

Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.


The Union of Utrecht joins several Dutch states against oppressive Spain.

Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.


The Moscow Patriarchate is created, making the Russian Church autocephalous, that is, subject to no higher bishop. However, there are some details regarding precedence and signatures that will not be ironed out for about four years. In practice, the Russian church had been independent for one hundred and forty years before the Orthodox Church of Constantinople formally recognizes the de facto situation.

Authority for the date:


Blaise Pascal publishes his first Provinical Letter, weighing in on the French controvery between Jansenists and Jesuits.

Authority for the date: Pascal, Blaise. Provincial Letters.


Lutheran missionary Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg engages in a dialogue about religion with Tamil-speaking Hindus at Tranquebar, India. A Hindu argues that since God made the world, he made its religions; therefore each is a path to God. Ziegenbalg responds that since the religions contradict each other, only one can be from God; the rest are from Satan.

Authority for the date: A History of Christianity in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, 1450–1990


Father John Carroll establishes Georgetown College which will become Georgetown University.

Authority for the date: Chicago Tribune (January 23, 2001).


Lott Carey, a Baptist, sails with 28 colleagues from Norfolk, Virginia, to Sierra Leone to become the first African-American missionary to Africa.

Authority for the date: E. Michael Rusten, Sharon O. Rusten. One Year Christian History. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2003.


Charles Perry arrives in Australia and will become the first Anglican bishop of Melbourne.

Authority for the date: Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals.


Death of Julius Hare, archdeacon of Lewes, one of Queen Victoria’s chaplains and the author of several influential theological and polemical works, including Vindication of Luther against his Recent English Assailants (1854).

Authority for the date: Dictionary of National Biography


Death in Boston, Massachusetts, of clergyman and educator Phillips Brooks, opponent of slavery and author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.


In an early example of parachurch activity, representatives of a number of Protestant men’s movements meet in Chicago to federate in a loose coalition for mutual information and for co-operation. Among the participating organizations are the Young Men’s Christian Association and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, as well as Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Congregational brotherhoods.

Authority for the date: Leete, Frederick DeLand. Christian Brotherhoods. Cincinnati: Jennings & Graham, 1912.


Nazis execute Helmuth James von Moltke, having said “the only trouble with you is you are a Christian.”

Authority for the date: Dewar, Diana. All for Christ: Some Twentieth Century Martyrs. Oxford University Press, 1980.


Polish Communists take over the offices of Caritas, a Roman Catholic humanitarian agency, hoping to reduce the influence of the Roman Catholic Church.

Authority for the date: Hutten, Kurt. Iron Curtain Christians. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1967.


Funeral of Spetume Florence Njangali, a priest in Uganda’s Anglican Church. A hard-working woman of great ability, she had struggled long to obtain priestly ordination for women.

Authority for the date: Dictionary of African Christian Biography.


Hindu extremists burn to death Australian missionary Graham Staine and his two sons in their jeep, forcing them back into the burning vehicle when they try to escape the flames.

Authority for the date: Foxe’s New Book of Martyrs.


A Turkish higher court declines to say whether charges should proceed against novelist Orhan Pamuk for “insulting Turkishness.” Pamuk had said, “Thirty thousand Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it.” The Armenians were descendants of early Christians.

Authority for the date: New York Times.

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