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May 11, 2009

Infographic: The History of Martyrdom

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The number of Christians killed for their faith has been growing since the beginning of Christianity, in AD 33. ©2001 World Christian Trends, William Carey Library, David Barrett & Todd Johnson

The exact numbers are listed after the jump.

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Comments

Interesting.. I'd really like to hear more about those Muslim martyrs.

I second Arni's comment. The document says "persons regarded as martyrs by their own religion." What is the definition of martyrdom across these different religions?

This information is simply fascinating--I didn't realize that the Orthodox are the single most persecuted stream of Christianity. I guess this is just one more reason why Russian Christian spirituality emphasizes suffering so much.

Re: Arni's question...Martyrdom for most of the Muslims in the total figure is battle death. Islam defines death in Jihad as martyrdom. Women and children as collateral damage would also be considered martyrs. Most of these deaths are from the bloody establishment and expansion of Islam, from its inception to today's efforts to establish Sharia law worldwide. Many, of course, are from the Crusades.

BTW: Often glossed over in historical accounts is that prior to the Crusades, Muslim conquest had already forced a huge portion of Christian regions of Africa, Middle East, West Asia and parts of Europe to convert or at least submit to Islam. The Crusades were a belated defense, clumsy, sporadic and generally ineffective in their goals. By most objective standards the Muslims prevailed in the Crusades, not the western powers. Later conflict was more definitive in preserving European Christianity from Islamic aggression.

One thing... Muslim has no martyrs, if according to the definition according to the Bible... Islam is basically birthed out of war and battle, and Muslims don't use the word 'martyr'. They simply use the word 'hero'. Muhammad has to join the people from Taif just to set Madinah straight, then using Madinah's power, to capture Mecca, in order to spread Islam. If you read carefully about the history, you would find that 9 out of 10 Muslim nations birthed out of violent revolution. Islam is the only religion that require the set up of government and military institution in order to stand on its own.

One probable cause for much Muslim martyrdom is the internecine war between Sunni and Shi'ite. Shi'ites counts those who died at Sunni hands as martyrs of the faith. The Sunnis massacred many Shi'ites in what is today's southern Iraq, hence the many holy sites in the region. Remember that many Catholic and Protestant martyrs died at the hands of both Catholics and Protestants in the first century of the Reformation. That is part of the total of Christian martyrs too.

I can't believe that the people here actually believe that this ridiculous chart is factually based. Wow.

Those statistics are crazy!

I know that during the last century 26 million Christians were killed for their beliefs. I heard that nowadays in China, they are throwing Christians in concentration style camps. I guess that's what you expect from a bunch of people who believe they evolved from a dragon.

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