Voice of the Martyrs - A Dramatic Record of Faithful Christians
Voice of the Martyrs is a ministry organization that documents horrific examples of Christian persecution throughout the world. They show that Christian martyrdom wasn’t just a 1st Century phenomenon. Dramatically, Christian martyrdom continues to show compelling evidence for the Christian faith today.
Voice of the Martyrs - The Early Martyrs Were Actual Witnesses to the Life of Jesus
Although Christian persecution continues in the 21st Century, the voice of the martyr in the 1st Century is still the most dramatic evidence that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was not a man-made hoax conspired by a group of disciples. Since the apostles and many of the early disciples were eye-witnesses to the life of Jesus, their story was not just based on religious belief, but actual historical events. It’s one thing to die for a religious belief, such as an Islamic fundamentalist or a follower of David Koresh. It’s quite another to die for a known lie. Here is a list of eye-witness martyrs as compiled from numerous sources outside the Bible, the most-famous of which is Foxes’ Christian Martyrs of the World:
Stephen was preaching the gospel in Jerusalem on the Passover after Christ’s crucifixion. He was cast out of the city and stoned to death. About 2,000 Christians suffered martyrdom during this time (about 34 A.D.).
James, the son of Zebedee and the elder brother of John, was killed when Herod Agrippa arrived as governor of Judea. Many early disciples were martyred under Agrippa’s rule, including Timon and Parmenas (about 44 A.D.).
Philip, a disciple from Bethsaida, in Galilee, suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified (about 54 A.D.).
Matthew, the tax-collector from Nazareth who wrote a gospel in Hebrew, was preaching in Ethiopia when he suffered martyrdom by the sword (about 60 A.D.).
James, the Brother of Jesus, administered the early church in Jerusalem and was the author of a book in the Bible. At the age of 94 he was beat and stoned, and finally had his brains bashed out with a fuller's club.
Matthias was the apostle who filled the vacant place of Judas. He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.
Andrew, the brother of Peter, preached the gospel throughout Asia. On his arrival at Edessa, he was arrested and crucified on a cross, two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground (thus the term, St. Andrew's Cross).
Mark was converted to Christianity by Peter, and then transcribed Peter’s account of Jesus in his Gospel. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria in front of Serapis, their pagan idol.
Peter was condemned to death and crucified at Rome. Jerome holds that Peter was crucified upside down, at his own request, because he said he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord.
Paul suffered in the first persecution under Nero. Because of the converting impact he was having on people in the face of martyrdom, he was led to a private place outside the city where he gave his neck to the sword.
Jude, the brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus. He was crucified at Edessa in about 72 A.D.
Bartholomew translated the Gospel of Matthew in India. He was cruelly beaten and crucified by idolaters there.
Thomas, called Didymus, preached in Parthia and India. He was thrust through with a spear by pagan priests.
Luke was the author of the Gospel under his name. He traveled with Paul through various countries and was supposedly hanged on an olive tree by idolatrous priests in Greece.
Barnabas, of Cyprus, was killed without many known facts about 73 A.D. Simon, surnamed Zelotes, preached in Africa and Britain, where he was crucified in about 74 A.D.
John, the "beloved disciple," was the brother of James. Although he suffered great persecution, including imprisonment where he wrote the book of Revelation, he was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.
Voice of the Martyrs - People May Die for a Belief, but Not for a Lie
Voice of the Martyrs – when life is at stake, multi-party conspiracies break down very quickly. Think about it!