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Christian Science Evolution: 6 Key Events for Church Since It Began

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 09:48 AM

The Boston-based Church of Christ, Scientist, was founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy. Christian Scientists believe in using prayer to resolve the many challenges in life. Whether it be health issues, relationships or any other personal troubles, prayer is a powerful tool for members of this church.

In the early 20th century, Christian Science became the fastest growing religion in the United States, with nearly 270,000 members by 1936. Unfortunately, that figure has declined, with just over 100,000 members in 1990.

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Here are six key events that occurred since Christian Science began:

1. The Opening of the First Reading Room: In 1888, the church opened its first Christian Science Reading Room in Boston. According to The New York Times, there were 2,500 such reading rooms throughout the United States. Today, the church maintains almost 1,200 reading rooms worldwide

2. The Construction of the Mother Church: In 1894, the construction of the Mother Church was completed. It is located at the heart of the Christian Science Plaza in Boston and today it remains just as it was built. Although it was expanded in 1906, says the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

3. The Founding of the Christian Science Monitor: In 1908, Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor newspaper. According to the Christian Science Monitor, its goal was, "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind." The newspaper remains in business and has won seven Pulitzer Prizes. In 1910, Eddy died at age 89.

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4. The Church Refuses a Huge Donation: In 1947, the church's board of directors refused to publish Bliss Knapp's book, "The Destiny of the Mother Church," on the grounds that its portrayal of Eddy as a divine figure who fulfilled Biblical prophesy was considered heretical by many Christian scientists,reports The New York Times. After their deaths, Knapp's widow and her sister bequeathed more than $100 million to the church while stipulating that if the church did not publish the book by 1993 and make it available in all its reading rooms nationwide, the money would be divided between Stanford University and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

5. The Church Publishes Knapp’s Book: The church published Knapp's book in 1991, and Stanford University and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art challenged its claim to the $100 million. The church at the time had recently lost several hundred million dollars trying to expand its communications empire. The university and museum contended the church hadn't fulfilled all the sisters' requirements and could not guarantee the book would be available in all its reading rooms. According to the Christian Science Monitor, in 1993 the church, the university and the museum agreed that the church would receive 53 percent of the bequest while the university and the museum would each receive 23.5 percent, says

6. The Church Eases its Stance on Medical Care: In 2010, Christian Science leaders acknowledged that for more than a year they had been encouraging members to see a physician, if they felt it was necessary. The denomination found a new tolerance for medical care at a time when it faced dwindling membership and blows to its reputation caused by its intransigence concerning medical treatment, even for children with grave illnesses.

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The Boston-based Church of Christ, Scientist, was founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy. Christian Scientists believe in using prayer to resolve the many challenges in life.
Christian Scientists, Christ, Church, Evolution
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2015-48-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 09:48 AM
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