or permitted suppression of Christianity in modern times; or cultural
attitudes that encourage anti-Christian violence or discrimination.
belief in Christ alone as the Alpha and the Omega, and that God's
Son, the Word Jesus Christ will endure forever, give martyrs strenth
to persevere unto death.
though by no means confined to Christians, has been a consistent part
of the story of Christianity. Throughout the modern era, hundreds of thousands
have become martyrs. Persecutions
have occurred in France, Japan, Korea, and China; between 1895-1910 thousands
of Armenian Christians were massacred under Turkish rule. In Germany the
Confessing Church and others
who resisted Hitler were persecuted; and many, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
were killed. In the Soviet
Union the government tried for decades to destroy Christianity;
in El Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero
was killed for his beliefs. In the United States the death of Martin
Luther King Jr. is widely recognized as a martyrdom. In some parts
of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, persecution continues. According to
one estimate there were 160,000 Christian martyrs a year before the close
of the twentieth century.