"AND OTHERS had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:)" -Hebrews 11:36-38
The following information is from WIKIPEDIA.COM...
A Christian martyr is one who, without seeking his own death or any harm to others, is murdered or put to death for his religious faith or convictions. Many Christian martyrs suffered cruel and torturous deaths like stoning, crucifixion, and burning at the stake. The word 'martyr' comes from the Greek word translated "witness". Martyrdom is a form of religious persecution.
The first Christian martyr was Saint Stephen as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (6:8-8:3) who was stoned to death for his faith. Stephen was killed (i.e., martyred) for his support, belief and faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. There were probably many other early Christian martyrs besides Stephen since Saul, later-known as the Apostle Paul of Tarsus, is mentioned as bringing many murderous threats against the disciples or followers of Jesus (Acts 9:1ff.).
The first Christian Martyr in England was Saint Alban, a roman citizen, who lived in Verulamium and, when sheltering a Christian priest, converted to Christianity. When he refused to worship the Roman gods, he was executed. It is believed that the executioner's eyeballs fell out. Since then, Verulamium grew and changed its name to Saint Albans.
There are many incredible stories, ancient and contemporary, of Christian martyrdom.
Early Christian martyrs
- Saint Stephen was stoned and some 2,000 other Christians suffered at the time of Stephen's persecution.
- James the Great (Son of Zebedee) was beheaded in 44 A.D.
- Philip the Apostle was crucified in 54 A.D.
- Matthew the Evangelist killed by a halberd in 60 A.D.
- James the Just, beaten to death by a club after being crucified and stoned.
- Matthias was stoned and beheaded.
- Saint Andrew, St. Peter's brother, was crucified.
- Mark was beaten to death.
- Saint Peter, crucified upside-down.
- Apostle Paul, beheaded in Rome.
- Saint Jude was crucified.
- Saint Bartholomew was crucified.
- Thomas the Apostle was killed by a spear.
- Luke the Evangelist was hanged.
- Simon the Zealot was crucified in 74 A.D.
John the Evangelist was cooked in boiling hot oil but survived and died of old age circa 110 A.D.
2nd and 3rd century A.D.
- Polycarp of Smyrna, probably around 160 A.D.
- Ignatius of Antioch in 107 A.D.
- Justin Martyr of Palestine in 168 A.D.
- The Martyrs of Scili (in North Africa, about 180 A.D.) The Passio Sanctorum Scilitanorum is regarded as the oldest Christian text in the Latin language.
- Perpetua and Felicity of Carthage in 202 A.D.
- Origen of Alexandria, about 250 A.D.
- Saint Januarius of Naples, Italy in 305 A.D
- Saint Philomena of Corfu, Greece (died in Rome) about 305 A.D
Middle Ages Period, 5th century to 15th century
Reformation period, 16th century
- Felix Manz, 1527
- Patrick Hamilton, 1528
- George Blaurock, 1529
- Thomas More, 1535
- William Tyndale, 1536
- Margaret Pole, 1541
- George Wishart, 1546
- Hugh Latimer, 1555
- Nicholas Ridley (martyr), 1555
- Rowland Taylor, 1555
- John Hooper, 1555
- John Rogers (religious), 1555
- William Hunter (Protestant martyr), 1555
- Lawrence Saunders, 1555
- Thomas Cranmer (Anglican martyr), 1556
- Dirk Willems, 1569
- Margaret Ball, 1584