The Greek word for 'fish' ἰχθύς became an anagram for the Christian statement of faith above.
Stephen is stoned to death by the Jewish leaders under Saul of Tarsus in an unplanned reaction of the Jewish (priest-dominated) Sanhedrin (Ac.6:11-8:2).
Pharisee Saul of Tarsus ravages the church in Jerusalem almost emptying the city of Christians (Ac.8:1-3).
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evangelises Samaria (Ac.8:5-8), and later the Treasurer of the queen of Ethiopia (Ac.8:26-39) near Gaza.
Conversion of Saul of Tarsus at Damascus, after his blinding by Jesus en route (Ac.22:16).
|Conversion of Paul|
Herod Agrippa kills the Apostle James (brother of John) to please Jerusalem's Jews and imprisons the Apostle Peter pending his execution (Ac.12:1-3).
No one is elected as his replacement among the Twelve, for Israel's special opportunity ended with the stoning of Stephen.
July 1: Gallio becomes governor of Achaia in Greece.
Later, Paul is charged before him for practicing an illicit religion. Charges are dismissed (Acts 18:12-17).
Paul and Luke journey to Jerusalem with aid for the poor (Ac.24:17).
Paul is arrested, he provokes conflict between Pharisees and Sadducees before the Sanhedrin (Ac.23:6,7). Ananias (son of Nebedeus) is high priest (Ac.23:2).
Paul is transferred to the Caesarea prison (Ac.21:17-23:35).
Paul speaks before Festus, Agrippa II and Bernice (Ac.25:24-26:32).
Autumn: Paul is transferred from the prison in Caesarea to Rome, via Malta (Ac.28:1-10).
Paul writes his 1 Timothy letter (1Tim.3:14) and is released from his first imprisonment in Rome.
Paul's ministry in Spain (Rom.15:24-28).
Apostle Paul's second imprisonment and his martyrdom at Rome (2 Tim.4:6-8).
July 18: Emperor Nero burns Rome to make way for his building plans and lays the blame on the Christians.
Laterin 116 AD/CE, the Roman historian Tacitus writes of this, with pro-pagan prejudice –
"Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.
Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators [sic.* prefects], Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.
Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired."
|Josephus (Annals 15.44).
*Jewish historian Josephus himself makes the same error regarding Pontius Pilate.
Palestine – Jewish Christians flee from Jerusalem to Pella across the Jordan, as the Lord Jesus had previously prophetically warned (Lk.21:20-24).
The Great Persecution of Christians by Roman emperor Domitian.
Crimea – Clement of Rome evangelises.
Palestine – Jewish Patriarch Gamaliel II revises the principal Jewish prayer ('amida) of 18 benedictions as the obligation of every Jew to recite three times daily, and adds a prayer against heretics directed at Jewish Christians, thus excommunicating any Jew holding to the interpretation of the Old Testament taught by Jesus and His followers.
Emperor Trajan orders the execution of any person who confesses to being a Christian.
Justin Martyr is tortured and beheaded for his Christian witness, leaving the message – ‘You can kill us, but cannot do us any real harm’.
Summer: Rhone Valley, Gaul – An vicious organized pogrom breaks out against Christians on accusations of cannibalism (Holy Communion) and incest (Christian Brotherhood). Christians who are Roman citizens are beheaded. Those who are not are tortured, then sent through a gauntlet of whips and given to wild animals in the arena. Severed heads and limbs are displayed under guard for six days, then burned, and the ashes thrown into the Rhone.
Before the actual outbreak of violence, Christians were forbidden from public areas such as the marketplaces, baths, etc. The populace also attacked the Christians, robbing them, and subjecting them to other forms of abuse (HE, 5.1.5,7).
Sanctus, a deacon from Vienne, has red-hot plates applied to his testicles –
Blandina, a prophetess, is 'tortured from dawn till evening, ...' until she exhausted her torturers, scourged, roasted in the 'frying pan' and bound in a basket to be tossed to death by wild bulls in the arena.
Emperor Septimus Severus prohibits Christian and Jewish proselytising, thus inaugurating the first systematic persecution of Christianity.
The Decian pogrom against Christians begins across the Roman Empire. Everyone has to obtain certificates proving he/she has made sacrifice to the official gods.
[Because of the large number of Christians in the Roman army it begins to affect morale. The persecution is therefore ended for military reasons when trouble breaks out on the frontiers of the empire].
Emperor Maximus (Maximimus) conducts the last official persecution of Christians. The authorities attempt to revive old slanders against the Christians, of secret cannibalistic orgies practiced in churches.
Roman Emperor Galerius issues his Edict of Toleration of Christians –
"wherefore, for this our indulgence, they [Christians] ought to pray to their God for our safety, for that of the republic, and for their own,
that the republic may continue uninjured on every side, and that they may be able to live securely in their homes".
Visigoths – Ulphilas (Ulfilas) begins evangelising and translates much of the Bible into Gothic, eventually inventing a new Gothic script for that purpose.
Roman Empire – Christianity is given legal recognition in the Empire. (See 394).
Frumentius evangelises the kingdom of Aksum, later to become Ethiopia.
|394||Christianity becomes the official religion of the Roman Empire.|
Britain – Patricius (Pádraig/Qatrikias, today's St. Patrick) is kidnapped from Britain age-16 by Irish raiders and sold as a slave in Ireland where he works herding sheep. (See 433).
|c.409||Patricius escapes from Ireland and returns to Britain.|
North Africa – Many Donatist Christians are tortured and killed as a consequence of Bishop Augustine of Hippo, North Africa, employing the duty of Roman magistrates to control religious dissent within the North African church.
[He gives his position a theological base from Luke 14:23 ('compel') with dire consequences for both Jewish and Christian history, particularly in central and western Europe (i.e. the Inquisition)].
|433||March: Ireland – Patricius begins evangelising.|
|460||March 11: Ireland – Patricius dies aged about 73 (medieval tradition held that Patrick died in 493).|
Gaul – Clovis, King of the Franks, accepts Christianity and is baptised by Remigius.
|c.563||Scotland – Columba establishes his missionary base in Iona.|
|c.600||North Wales – Beuno evangelises.|
|635||Northumbria – Aidan begins to establishes Christianity.|
|c.680||Franconia – Kilian evangelises.|
|c.700||Frisia – Wynfrith (Boniface) evangelises.|
|c.830||Scandinavia – Anskar attempts to establish Christianity.|
East Europe – Cyril and his brother Methodius (Кѷриллъ и Меѳодїи) begin to evangelise the Slavs. The two brothers and their students create the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets (based primarily on the Greek uncial writing of the 9th century) in order to translate the Bible and other texts into the Slavic languages.
|988||Kiev, Ukraine – Prince Vladimir formally aligns with Christianity.|
Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas experiences a personal conversion and declares all his theological writings as 'straw'.
England – John Wycliffe teaches a return to biblical Christianity and initiates the preaching of the derogatorily called 'Lollards'.
July 6: Prague – John Hus, faithful to Holy Scripture and influenced by Wycliffe's writings, is martyred by papal Christianity.
His executioners undress him, tie his hands behind his back with ropes, and bind his neck with a chain to a stake around which wood and straw have been piled up so that it covers him to the neck. At the last moment, the imperial marshal, Von Pappenheim, in the presence of the Count Palatine, asks him to recant and thus save his own life, but Hus declines with the words –
He is then burned at the stake, and his ashes thrown into the Rhine River.
Peter Chelcicky begins preaching Christian renewal to the people of Prague. His converts form the core of the Bohemian Brethren, later called Unitas Fratrum or Moravians. (See 1727)
September 6: The 'Mayflower' sails to America to found a colony which guarantees religious freedom.
|1646||October 26: America John Eliot (born 1604) preaches his first sermon to the Algonquin Indians.|
America – John Eliot founds the first American-Indian church in Natick. He publishes the 'Bay Psalm Book', the first book ever published in New England.
America – John Eliot's translation of the Bible into the local American-Indian dialect is printed.
Maryland – Thomas Bray establishes the Society for the Propagation of the Christian Gospel.
Wales – Griffith Jones evangelises.
In southeastern Saxony, Germany – Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf agrees to a request from an itinerant carpenter named Christian David that persecuted Protestants from Moravia should be allowed to settle on his estate. (Among those who come are Bohemian Brethren refugees who had been living as an underground remnant in Moravia for nearly 100 years).
|1726||In America – The 'Great Awakening' begins.|
August 13: Moravia – The Holy Spirit powerfully anoints a communion service in Herrnhout of von Zinzendorf, which triggers the 'Moravian' revival and reportedly results in more missionaries being sent out across the world in the next 20-years than from the whole of the rest of the Christian Church in the following 200-years. (Zinzendorf saw the new group as a spark for renewal of all Christian denominations, not as a new and separate denomination).
|1736||Britain, America – George Whitefield begins evangelising.|
May 24: In a Moravian meeting, London – John Wesley directly experiences the grace of God for the first time, resulting in a changed life and the evangelisation of many throughout Britain –
"I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation;
and an assurance was given to me that He had taken away my sins."
Pennsylvania – David Brainerd evangelises the native Americans.
Wales – Howel Harris evangelises.
July 8: Jonathan Edwards preaches his famous sermon 'Sinners in the hands of an angry God' further helping the Great Awakening across America.
Long Island, America – Samson Occom begins evangelising the Montauk.
|c.1750||Yorkshire – William Grimshaw evangelises.|
New York, America – Samson Occom establishes the native-American town of Brothertown.
|1777||America – Thomas Coke begins working under John Wesley.|
England – William Carey preaches his famous sermon 'Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God', and later forms the Baptist Missionary Society.
|1800||America – The Second Great Awakening begins.|
|1805||India – Henry Martyn begins evangelising.|
|1807||China – The first Protestant missionaries arrive.|
Midlands, North England – William Clowes evangelises, is expelled from the Methodist movement and founds the Primitive Methodist Connexion.
|c.1815||Burma – Adoniram Judson evangelises.|
North Cape, South Africa – Robert Moffatt arrives as missionary to evangelise the Tswana. He later establishes a written language and translates the Bible.
Polynesia – John Williams begins evangelising. (See 1839).
|1818||China – Robert Morrison translates the whole Bible.|
|1824-5||Burma – Adoniram Judson is imprisoned for a year by the British.|
|1824||Jamaica – William Knibb begins evangelising.|
|1839||Polynesia – John Williams is killed and eaten. (See 1817).|
|1841||East Africa – David Livingstone begins evangelising.|
|1854||China – James Hudson Taylor begins evangelising.|
|c.1860||Melanesia – John Coleridge Patteson begins evangelising.|
America – Dwight Lyman Moody begins evangelising.
|1876||Ibo, Nigeria – Mary Slessor begins evangelising.|
Melanesia – James Chalmers opens up New Guinea to the gospel. (See 1901).
|1888||Algeria – Isabella Lilian Trotter begins evangelising.|
|1898||America – Bob Jones begins evangelising.|
Poona, India – Pandita Ramabai evangelises, and translates the Bible into Marathi.
China – 56 missionaries of the China Inland Mission are murdered in the Boxer Rebellion.
Melanesia – James Chalmers is killed and eaten while exploring new territories in New Guinea. (See 1877).
India – Vednayakam Samuel Azariah forms the Indian Missionary Society.
Wales – Evan John Roberts evangelises and spiritual revival spreads through Wales.
|c.1915||Philippines – Frank Charles Laubach begins evangelising.|
|1933||China – Gladys Aylward opens a mission centre.|
India – Vednayakam Samuel Azariah hosts the World Missionary Conference.
Romania – Jewish Christian Pastor Richard Wurmbrand is arrested (February 29) by the Soviet Communist regime as a 'political prisoner'. He is kept in solitary confirnment in an underground cell for three-years. He is eventually released in 1964 after the Norwegian Mission to the Jews and the Hebrew Christian Alliance negotiated with Communist authorities for his release from Romania for $10,000.
China – The Cultural Revolution closes all Christian churches but they still continue to grow.
|America's CIA kills
Peru – The Peruvian Air Force shoots down a civilian plane (registered to the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism) without any warning after receiving erroneous information from America's CIA that the plane was trafficking in narcotics. It wasn't! It was filled with Christian missionaries. The missionary plane was vectored for an attack intercept by a radar-equipped U.S. military Cessna Citation surveillance plane operated by a CIA contractor, Aviation Development Corp., which is located at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. (In 2008 the CIA inspector general reveals that the CIA had lied to Congress about the accidental shoot down of American missionaries over Peru in 2001. The CIA's general counsel had advised agency managers not to write anything down in an effort to avoid criminal charges being brought against CIA officers.)
All India Christian Council
Orissa, India – August-September: Hindus attack Christians, killing dozens, destroying more than a hundred churches and dozens of Christian-owned businesses, and ransacking about 2,500 Christian homes (Source: Mission India staff). The Christian population having grown from an estimated 2% to 28%. Revenge for the killing of a Hindu leader by a Maoist group was initially used as a trigger for the violence against Christians.
A Biblical Structure of History
Hindu leader, Umasankar Acharya of the Bajrang Dal organization says –
(a lesson spelled out in the continuing violence and murders perpetrated against them).
A Chronology of Confusion
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Tertullian: 'Semen est sanguis Christianorum'
The blood of the martyrs is the seed [of the Church].
(Text is CSEL 69; translation is common, but checked against Glover, Loeb edition.)
Copyright © Lloyd Thomas 2003-2016. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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