The word martyr means witness. We use the word today to mean anybody who witnesses to their religion with blood, that is, by being killed for it. But long long ago, one could still be called a martyr if one nearly died for the faith.


The apostles of Jesus supposedly died for their faith in him and particularly his resurrection.  The Church if it read the data should know it was not that simple and the stories are legends. None of them have an apostle being threatened with, "Renounce Jesus. Say the resurrection didn't happen."  Nobody dying for their country means they think the leader of the country is worth dying for.  We are told nobody dies for a lie but they do if they believe somebody else's lie.  And why are they not saying, "Moses must have really been a prophet of God and Muhammad too for people are willing to kill for them.  Read the gory commands Moses' gave in God's name for example."  If you can kill for a lie you can die for a lie. 

If the apostles died for faith in the resurrection of Jesus, it could be they were unsure of their own experience and their faith was more about what others told them than anything else. Maybe, it is a case of "The women said they seen the Lord. I think I did but I am not sure. I take their word for it more than anything else that he is alive."  If they had doubts and felt they could not believe properly they could have sought torture and death to atone and to compensate.

The alleged example of the apostles and the lies of the Church led many to "imitate" them and end up suffering a cruel death.


With martyrdom, Christians make a big thing of how the martyr of the Christian religion is not a suicide but is a murder victim. But if the martyr kills himself or provokes the attacker to kill by refusing to renounce Jesus the end result is the same: a dead body. It would be more moral for the person to kill themselves then to kill themselves indirectly by getting somebody else to do it. That is two tragedies instead of one. Somebody is made a murderer.


Religion applauds dying for your faith.  It speaks of people dying for their faith.  In reality there is no such thing.  You are killed for the FAITH THAT YOU ARE PERCEIVED to have not the faith.  Even if you have say a Catholic faith, nobody else knows that for sure.  Even you may not know for sure.  Religion then is being very disingenuous when it encourages would be martyrs to die for the faith and then puts them forward as role models.  Religion is encouraging their murders by telling the persecutors, "Yes if you kill them for what you see as their faith then you kill them for their faith and because of it."  Religion is worse than the murderers.  Anyway though there is no dying for faith let us see what would the case be if there were.
Jesus Christ was a martyr if it is true that he died for his claim to be the holy one of God. Some would deny that Jesus testified to the goodness and duty of dying rather than abjuring one’s faith saying he had to die to save the world. But he didn’t have to be nailed to a cross for that and must have chosen this terrible way to die to call his followers to die for their faith. It is certain that Christianity commands death in the name of faith when it is considered necessary.
When faith, and faith is not complete certainty, can require you to die then it is clear that it is a sin to worship God and intend your worship to go to the true God if your God is the wrong one. You must intend to give only the God you believe in, your worship. If that is the case then activities like ecumenism are wrong. The only dealings you should have with other religions is to convert them and destroy their influence.
Jesus told the apostles that he gave them a new commandment to love one another as he loved them (John 13:34-36). This is different then from the Old Testament commandment, “Love your neighbour as yourself” for it was an old commandment. Jesus accepted the Old Testament command so it seems that he meant we have to love one another enough to die for one another. The preceding sentence has Jesus saying he will only be around a little while so that was probably what he had in mind. The line after also says that Jesus will sacrifice himself to death and Peter says he will sacrifice himself too. The Law also commanded people to die for others say in war. So why does Jesus say it’s a new commandment? Could it be that the gospel is obliquely saying that Jesus wants people to die UNNECESSARILY for others? That is the only explanation. If the apostles committed suicide by getting themselves martyred then we cannot rely on them at all. Jesus said that the whole world would know they are his disciples by their love and obedience to the new commandment. But the apostles lived obscure lives and died deaths that are masked in legend. This prophecy proved false. It was only in the second century that stories of this remarkable suicidal fanatical love of the apostles appeared which tell us plenty about when this ludicrous gospel was written.
According to the tradition of the Church, the first Christian martyr was Stephen who we can read about in the book of Acts. Stephen was accused of heresy by the Jews. He preached heresy to them at his trial and they stoned him to death. He could have recanted to save his life but he did not. But all he had to do was choose his words carefully so as to avoid antagonising them. Stephen held that the gospel must be proclaimed even when the price is death and when Jesus took him into Heaven for being so reckless it shows that the primitive Church got too much trust. The writer of Acts probably would not write about him so glowingly if he were considered a bad example.
It is interesting that Stephen could have saved his life by choosing his words more carefully and by defending himself. Paul was arraigned on the same charges and got off. Stephen wanted to die. True martyrs for the Christian cause only die because they have to, to avoid cursing Christ, not because they have pulled their deaths on themselves. The Church has always opposed suicide except in martyrdom. It would seem that he was not a true saint but the New Testament says that the divine truth must be told even when you can get killed for it. If you can’t pretend to hate Christ to save yourself from certain death you cannot hide Christ to save your life and especially when it is saving yourself from possible or even probable execution.
Since the time of the so-called martyr Stephen there have been many martyrs. There have been many Catholics martyrs and many Protestant ones too. Tradition has it that Peter died on a cross in Rome having being crucified upside down and that Paul was beheaded in Rome. All the apostles except John supposedly died for the “truth” according to the Church. This is all probably lies but it shows how tradition encourages death.
Revelation 2:13; 17:6; and Acts 22:20 condone martyrdom. They would not praise the martyrs as holy and as God’s witnesses unless they really approved. Perhaps they thought that martyrdom was immoral but if you were martyred thinking it is right then you are a saint. But they would have made it clear that they did not recommend holy self-murder.
The Apocryphal Second Maccabees which is canonical scripture in the Catholic Church and therefore infallible tells us that Razis committed suicide and that was a noble death for it was better to undergo it than to suffer outrages at the hands of his enemies (14). This is a kind of martyrdom for it would not have been noble unless it was ultimately done for God who is Number One. The Church claims that what Razis did was evil in God’s sight because it was a kind of euthanasia though it will not condemn Razis for that would expose an error in its heretical Bible.
The Book of Mormon implies that martyrdom is right for it commends sticking to the faith in spite of persecution (Second Nephi 26:8; Third Nephi 12:12) just like the Bible does. Persecution always leads to some deaths.
The Koran says that those who are slain in the cause of God do right to fight for him and will be rewarded. If we are to wage war over God then it shows that faith comes before life – the principle underlying the doctrine of approval for martyrdom (The Imrams or Sura 3, Pilgrimage or Sura 22, Muhammad or Sura 47).
Could the martyrs threatened by death not have pretended to have lost their faith and insincerely blaspheme God or Jesus to save their lives?
One reason Christians give as to why they couldn’t is that lying is wrong.
If God exists then he speaks to us in the heart. Most God faiths claim that he actually revealed their doctrines to holy prophets. Christianity claims that the paramount revelation of God came to pass in the coming of Jesus Christ. The message in all this is that we are expected to believe God.
We cannot tell lies if God is truth. Not even a little one to save the world from being blown to bits in a nuclear war. Because if God ever permits lying we will not know when to believe him and are given their right to ignore what he says. His ways are strange so he might lie for a purpose that escapes us so we end up not knowing what to believe.
Another reason is that God wants all to hear the gospel so it is best never to deny the faith for he might be working on your persecutors to convert them through you. To hide or deny the faith would be denying his power. If you preach and it does not work then you know that it is God’s will that you die to witness to your faith. You can’t assume that it would be better if you lied in order to preach the gospel to a more receptive audience or a bigger one. God’s ways are not ours.  Christians teach that death is better than Hell. It is better for you to die than to obscure a faith that warns about how to avoid Hell. You are taking the right to know away from your persecutors if you refuse to spill your blood to testify what danger they are in.
The main reason is that it would be expressing approval for the blasphemies of the persecutors. It would be telling them they are right to insult God which is wrong even if they don’t know how wrong they are. This is the same as blaspheming God yourself. If you say five people should do it, in relation to motive and intent it is the same as committing the sin of blasphemy yourself five times. Being murdered is the lesser evil because blasphemy is the same as committing a mortal sin five times. Getting murdered is not a sin when it is what would be one sin against five.


Catholic Church reads a text from 2 Maccabees 7 which it considers divinely inspired that has seven brothers with their mother being such religious extremists that they chose to die rather than eat pig meat which was banned by God’s law. The third brother is described in the text as honourable for calling his tormentor an inhuman fiend and that he may be killed now but will rise again to everlasting life for dying for God’s law.
If suicide by martyrdom is right then it is right to kill yourself when you think that your faith is evaporating. It would be immoral to live if your faith comes first. Religion cannot even be consistent in its doctrine on martyrdom. It is hateful how it condones something when it suits it. The martyrs could be agents of the devil when they die for an evil principle that life is for faith and not faith for life.
It is hardhearted of Christianity to insist that it is right to die for your faith when the alternative is to betray it when she won’t permit euthanasia. Unbearable and incurable suffering is a better reason to die.
The martyrs of the Church were nothing but idiots for dying for blind faith. There is no evidence for the veracity of the Christian or any religious revelation so anybody who dies for religion is unintelligent and/or fanatical. And the martyrs should have died for the religion that had the best or most evidence for it if they were so keen to be false heroes but few religionists care about truth and ever look into the evidence and then they die for the creed that became a curse for them.
Doubt is always sincere. Yet faith has pronounced it to be sinful! You cannot commit a well-meaning sin. The martyrs are dying for evil. They are trying to serve the Devil by spilling their blood. There is no excuse. Religion is committing attempted murder every time it gets a convert. Anybody could die for their faith and it is hoped by religion that if it came to that that the convert would be ready and religion plans to make them ready.
To allow suicide and then to avoid denying the faith and to forbid euthanasia is not logical.

The requirement of Christians that people die for the faith shows a preference of belief over people. People are sacrificed for belief. Martyrs cannot be understood as anything else but human sacrifices to God.  Catholicism makes martyrs and heroes of those who die for it.  A religion that calls on people to die for its doctrines is a murderer actually and potentially if it is a manmade religion. 


Because principle matters and if you have the true religion in principle then you cannot renounce or turn against your faith even when threatened with death. What if you are martyred? As you have no choice this is the killers fault not yours! It is not suicide in any form or even in an indirect way. Christians say you must forgive the killer and the persons morally responsible for allowing or telling them to do it. But it is suicide unless you have total proof that your religion is true!

Why Did the Apostles Die? Dave Matson,
How Did the Apostles Die?

Steven Carr discusses the Christian and apostolic martyrs

Challenging the Verdict
A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ

The Martyrdoms of Peter and Paul, Peter Kirby

The Martyrdoms: A Response, Peter Kirby

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