The Blood of the Righteous
For God So Loved the
World . . . That He Testified to It That its Deeds Were Evil.
John 3:16, 7:7
The Interrogation Chair, 17th Century.
THE RIGHTEOUS ONES
As we follow the accounts of these devoted worshipers (those who worshipped and believed in God correctly, Ro. 4:5, Gal. 2:16, Eph. 1:7-13) from the beginnings of man, down to this present era, we’ll trace a faithful line of righteous men, women, and children. Men and women, young and old, who obeyed God and His Word to the utmost of their calling, laying down their lives for the cause of righteousness, being put to death (or imprisoned) in many different ways and forms. Yet Jesus said He would build His church so strong it would prevail against all its enemies, Matt. 16: 18. As Tertullian (A.D. 160 – 240) said, “We multiple whenever we are mown down by you; the blood of Christians is seed.” What a force of kings, monarchs, false religious leaders, and rulers of this world, with all their powers having bent themselves through every generation against these righteous ones. As Jesus said in Matt. 23: 29 – 35, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”
Although the testimonies given in this booklet are few, the numbers of martyrs are staggering. All of these righteous ones had their blood shed because they stood up for the truth against the evils of their time. They obeyed as their Heavenly Father had instructed them,"…to testify to the world that its deeds were (are) evil.” They sighed and groaned over all the abominations that were (are) being committed in their midst, John 7:7, Ezk. 9:4. Their persecutions can be read like an “Alphabetical List of Tortures.” A. Amputations of body parts B. Beheaded, bombed, burned or boiled to death, buried alive (with a bag of cats, scorpions, or serpents attached to them), branded with hot pincers on sensitive organs, and beaten to death C. Cat’s paw torture, crucified D. Dislocation of limbs, drowning, disembowelment, dragged to death F. Flogging, freezing torture, fed to wild animals G. Gouging out of the eyes, garroting H. Hanging, head crushing I. Impaling, imprisoned, interrogation chair torture J. Judas cradle torture (see pg. 12) K. Knee-splitting torture L. Ladder rack torture M. Maiming and Mutilation P. Poisoned, pressed to death with weights (on beds of nails) R. Raped, Red-hot pincer torture S. Sawn in half, skinned alive, suffocated, stoned, starved, and stretched to death, scourging W. Water torture, wheel breaking (see pg. 12). These ways of torture are heart wrenching, convicting, and certainly motivating, along with the testimonies that follow.
THE RIGHTEOUS OLD TESTAMENT MARTYRS
The great victories accomplished by the Old Testament martyrs were the stepping stones that laid the foundation of faith for the righteous martyrs who followed them in succeeding generations. Jesus started with Abel, as the first righteous martyr, in Matt. 23:35. Abel, who offered a better sacrifice to God than Cain, obtained a testimony that he was righteous; slain by his jealous brother Cain because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and not his, Gen. 4:10-20. The prophets Hanani and Macaiah were both put in prison for speaking the truth of God’s Word to the rebellious kings, Asa and Ahab, II Chr. 16:7-10, 18:8-27. The account of the murder of Zechariah is found in II Chr. 24:18-22. Zechariah was stoned to death, because he stood up against the officers of Israel and King Joash, by testifying to them that their deeds were evil and that they had forsaken the Lord. Despising him for his stinging words, they murdered him in the court of the house of the Lord. The prophet Elijah and his servant Obadiah gives us a report of a great many of God’s prophets slain and destroyed by the hand of Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife. Elijah testifies to God that the sons of Israel had torn down His altars and killed His prophets with the sword and were seeking his life as well, I Kings 18:4-13, I Kings 19:10. Found in the Book of Hebrews is a commended group of faithful men and women, some found faithful to death, “who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.” Heb. 11:33-38. These testimonies are quite the steps to follow in, and the succeeding generations of righteous Christians, as we read on we’ll find, certainly did.
THE RIGHTEOUS MARTYRS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
The first martyr in the New Testament was John the Baptist. John testified to King Herod that his deeds were evil and was beheaded for speaking the truth, Matt. 14: 3-5. After the death of our Saviour, the first martyr in the body of Christ was Stephen. Acts, chapters 6 and 7, gives the detailed account of Stephen’s trial and death. His righteous blood was shed because he testified to the men of the council (his accusers), as Zechariah did, that their deeds were evil. His faithful words to these men that caused his death were, “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it” Acts 7:51-53. The council became so enraged that they stoned him to death. Acts 8:1 tells us that a great persecution arose against the church after Stephen’s death, and in it some two-thousand Christians suffered martyrdom.
Peter – Was crucified upside down on a cross under the persecution of Nero, A.D. 67.
Andrew – Was crucified transversely on a cross.
James the Great – Was killed with a sword by order of King Herod.
John – According to tradition was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil, but went unharmed, and afterward was banished to the Isle of Patmos, by the order of Domition.
Philip – Was scourged, put in prison, and crucified in A.D. 54.
Bartholomew – Was cruelly beaten and then crucified.
Thomas – Was martyred by being thrust through with a spear.
Matthew – Was slain with a spear in A.D. 60.
James the Less – Was thrown from the temple wall, yet he did not die, so they stoned him, and he still did not expire until they clubbed him to death.
Thaddaeus – Was crucified in A.D. 72.
Simon the Zealot – Was crucified in A.D. 74.
Matthias – Was stoned and then beheaded in Jerusalem.
The First Persecution (A.D. 54-69) – Under Nero
Nero ordered the city of Rome to be set on fire. To escape fault, Nero placed the blame of the nine day fire, which several thousand perished in the flames, upon the Christians. Having them punished for it, he put them aflame in his garden or sewn in skins of wild beasts and thrown to the dogs. In this persecution the Apostle Paul and Peter were martyred.
The Second Persecution (A.D. 81-96) – Under Domitian
Any hardships or misfortunes that happened to any of the Roman provinces, the blame once again was laid upon on the Christians. Timothy, the disciple of Paul, was beaten to death in this persecution. The Apostle John was also among those who suffered in this persecution.
The Third Persecution (A.D. 98-117) – Under Trajan
Pliny the II, testified in a letter to Trajan, of the Christians, “That there were many thousands of them put to death daily, of which none of them did anything contrary to the Roman laws worthy of persecution. The whole account they gave of their crime or error (whichever it may be called) . . . was that they prayed to Christ as to God . . .” 1
The Fourth Persecution (A.D. 161-180) – Under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
The barbarities done in this persecution were so cruel that many of the spectators were horrified at the sight of it and astonished at the bravery of the sufferers. Polycarp, a bishop of the church in Smyrna, was given a choice to renounce Christ or be burnt to death. His reply was, “Eighty-six years I have served Him, and He never once wronged me; how then should I blaspheme my King, who has saved me?” 2 Felicitatis, an illustrious, devout Christian mother of seven sons, whom she had educated with her utmost devotion and care, were all martyred before her eyes. Januarius, the eldest, was scourged and pressed to death with weights; Felix and Phillip had their brain dashed out with clubs; Silvanus, her fourth son, was thrown off a steep cliff; her three younger sons were beheaded with a sword, to which she was then beheaded.
The Fifth Persecution (A.D. 193-211) – Under Severus
Severus, in trying to suppress the growth of the Christians, had them beheaded, boiled in water, burned at the stake, fed to wild beasts, had hot tar poured over their heads, to name a few of their afflictions. Historian Tertullian said, “If the Christians had collectively withdrawn themselves from the Roman territories the empire would have been greatly depopulated.” 3
The Sixth Persecution (A.D. 235-238) – Under Maximus
Numerous Christians were slain and buried in massive graves all together.
The Seventh Persecution (A.D. 249-251) – Under Decius
Decius tried to extirpate the Christian name. The martyrs in this persecution were innumerable. Peter, a young Christian man martyred in this persecution, was beheaded for refusing to sacrifice to the pagan goddess, Venus. His rejecting words were, “I am astonished you should sacrifice to an infamous woman whose debaucheries even your own historian record, and whose life consisted of such actions as your laws would punish. No, I shall offer the true God acceptable sacrifice of praises and prayers.” 4 He was ordered to be stretched upon a wheel, by which all his bones were broken, and he was than beheaded.
The Eighth Persecution (A.D. 253-260) – Under Valerian
The martyrs persecuted under Valerian were innumerable. He commanded some three-hundred Christians to either sacrifice to Jupiter or to be thrown into a fiery kiln. They in response faithfully and bravely chose death.
The Ninth Persecution (A.D. 270-275)– Under Aurelian
There were minor persecutions under the emperor Aurelian.
The Tenth Persecution (A.D. 284-305) – Under Diocletian and Maximuis
Though guided under the reign of these two emperors, it was really Diocletian’s son, Galerius, who guided the bloodiest persecution the church had ever experienced. Galerius, boasting that he would terminate the Christians from the Roman boundaries, fixed a fatal day to commence this bloody work, February 23, A.D. 303, the day Terminalias was celebrated in honor to Terminus, the god of boundaries. Christian churches and books were burned and destroyed. Inventions of torture were exhaustive against the Christians. Many of them were scourged, set on fire, poisoned, crucified, starved to death, and various other means of torture were done to these righteous ones.
4th through the 9th Centuries
The tenth persecution ended a few decades into the fourth century, but the persecution of Christians and hatred towards Christianity didn’t. The Roman emperor Constantine, in the name of “Christianity”, had 3,000 righteous ones put to death, for not agreeing with his interpretation of the Scriptures. In A.D. 386, the governor of Egypt and the bishop of Alexander began an infernal persecution against the righteous Christians in their environs. Following the faithful ones into the bloody fifth century, we find that this century was not only bloody, but was filled with charred bones and ashes of the bodies of the righteous ones. In A.D. 401 the king of the Vandals, Isdigerdis, and his son, Geroranes, in their hatred towards Christianity, had Christians flagged and roasted to death. They also had others put in chains and placed in dirty cells filled with hundreds of starving rats. In A.D. 413, a bloody edict was issued against these cross-bearing Christians, by the emperors of Rome, Theodosius and Honorius, which stated, “If any minister of the Christian church is found guilty of having re-baptized any one, he, together with the person thus re-baptized, provided the latter is proved to be of such an age to understand the crime, shall be put to death.” 5 In A.D. 416, infant baptism was made a law, these two false teachings or laws, are what initiated the notorious dark ages, which began a decade later. The Dark Ages, which in its bloody time frame, 426 A.D. through 1834, contained the four barbarically cruel Inquisitions, the Medieval, Spanish, Portuguese, and the Roman Inquisitions. Fourteen hundred years of indescribable horror, was perpetrated by the established false churches, mainly the Roman Catholic Church. Then later, following in their Catholic roots, would include the Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches; thus some of our gates of hell that Jesus mentioned in Matt. 16:18. It has been estimated by church historians, that some 50,000,000 Christians, all who opposed the teachings of these established false churches were put to death as heretics in these dark ages alone. Honoricus, king of the vandals in A.D. 467, led a violent persecution against the righteous ones, especially towards Christian women. He had them suspended naked and then burned them with torches, while others had boiling pitch applied to their breasts, sides and their back. Some of these faithful ladies also had their breasts and arms cut off. By the close of the fifth century those who opposed the bloody edict of A.D. 413 and infant baptism by law, were exceedingly hated by most of the world. Thousands of righteous ones were cruelly and ignominiously put to death because of these falsities. The steadfast Christians in the six through ninth century, were hunted down, afflicted, oppressed, and martyred by pagan emperors, kings, princes, rulers and the leaders of the Roman Catholic church, in the countries of France, Italy, England, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Wales, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Persia, Armenia, Arabia, and other middle eastern countries and principalities. Safe havens were becoming very scarce for the righteous one to dwell in these said centuries, as variations and places of cruelty knew no bounds. In A.D. 566 and 614, many Christians were executed by the Longobards of Italy, for refusing to worship their gods and eat meat that was sacrificed to their gods. These defenseless Christians continued to populate even with these named predators all around them. By the closing of the ninth century the papacy had great power, as was stated by Pope Nicholas I (858-867) who declared, “We (popes) alone have the power to bind and to lose, to absolve Nero and to condemn him, and Christians cannot, under penalty of excommunications, execute other judgment then ours, which alone is infallible.” 6
10th through the 11th Centuries
In the tenth century, A.D. 923, a terrible persecution was raised against the Christians by the Arabian king, Habdarrhaghman IV, who was filled with bitterness and hatred towards Christians and the laws of the Bible. A brave young victim of the king’s wrath was a young man named Pelagius, who at the age of thirteen, boldly stood up for the truth against this evil King of Arabia. Habdarrhaghman tried to persuade Pelagius to apostatize from his Christian faith and to commit indecent abominable acts. He was also offered a position in the King’s palace if he would submit to these things. Pelagius testified to him that he was a Christian and would remain a Christian and obey Christ’s commands all the days of his life. King Habdarrhaghman became enraged and ordered that Pelagius be suspended to iron thongs and hauled up and down rigorously until he died or renounced his faith. Pelagius, withstanding this torture in a most dignified way, was finally brought to the King. Dripping with blood, Pelagius lifted up his hands to heaven and prayed that the Lord would deliver him out of the hands of his enemies. The furious King filled with rage, ordered that his arms and legs be cut off, and then to behead him. It is difficult to pen such atrocities, as it is so lamentable. Pelagius was a true Daniel of his time and a model of indomitable courage; he was martyred on June 29, A.D. 925. In A.D. 926, the King of Denmark, Worm, whose name fitted him quite well, inflicted, oppressed, and murdered all Christians in his reign who wouldn’t renounce their Christian beliefs. By A.D. 950, Catholicism was the dominant religion throughout all of Europe, thus bringing all of Europe into the Dark Ages. In the same year, Udo, the prince of Russia, Bulgaria, and Poland, evinced himself very cruelly and barbarically against the Christians. Some historians wrote of him, that he was an atrocious persecutor of the Christians, and a great tyrant. In A.D. 994, Mistavas, King of the Vandals, ruthlessly persecuted the righteous ones in Germany and other adjacent countries. The “holy wars” or crusades begin in 1099, at the closing of the 11th century.
12th through the 15th Centuries
It is with indescribable horrors, that we enter the 12h through the 15th centuries. These three centuries are truly where the Dark Ages, received its name. The papal church committed more heinous crimes against God’s people, than any of their predators before them. In A.D. 1140, Pope Innocent II, became very alarmed at the number of heretics of the Roman Catholic Church, he wrote to the Catholic princes and rulers to banish all heretics of the Roman faith in their dominions. Pope Alexander III, in A.D. 1147, commanded the bishops to exterminate the heretics, if possible from the face of the earth. In Denmark, A.D. 1157, torture was introduced as an official tool against the opposers of the holy sacraments. Pope Lucius III established the Medieval Inquisition in 1184, for the purpose of doing away with heretics. In the year A.D. 1209, Pope Innocent III, a strenuous opponent of heresy, instigated a violent campaign against heretics in Bezier, France, where he had twenty thousand “heretics” massacred for their faith in Christ, and in A.D. 1215, he promulgated another pernicious teaching and fatal doctrine (for the saints) called transubstantiation. Many false doctrines in the 13th century had been established by the Roman Catholic Church, and the many who opposed them, were put to death. Pope Gregory IX issued a decree in A.D. 1231, which stated that there would be life imprisonment with salutary penance for those heretic’s who repented of their apostasy; and death to those who persisted in their religious disobedience. In 1233, the Dominican friars, were assigned the responsibility of carrying out the Inquisitions. Antisacrament Christians were persecuted by all manners of torture, so that the whole world was in a commotion because of these brutal inquisitions. These righteous ones instead of decreasing, increased, as Tertullian said, the blood of the Christian is seed. 7 In 1251, Pope Innocent IV approved torture as the official tool to be used against the religious disobedient of the Catholic Church to try to bring the apostate back or to try to make the heretic the recant of his “false” beliefs, and Spain instituted the same in 1256. Torture methods were used by the Catholic Inquisitors as they were forbidden to use methods that resulted in bloodshed; that was left to the secular courts. The un-recanting criminal, whose crime was religious beliefs contrary to the Roman Catholic Church, was of course brought to the secular arm to be put to death, after the inhuman Catholic Inquisitor had tortured them severely. In the beginning of the 14th century, Pope Boniface VIII (1235-1303) issued a papal bull in 1302, which declared that, the reigning pope had supreme and final authority in all matters, both civil and spiritual.
The entrance into the year A.D. 1308 was by fire and brimstone for 140 antisacrament, Anabaptists sheep. Their shepherd, Dulcinus and his wife were ordered to be torn to pieces by Pope Clemet V, for rejecting the Catholic teachings. Dulcinus’s flock of 140, were all burned to death in Lombardy, Italy, shortly after he and his wife were martyred. In A.D. 1310, England established torture as their official punishment against apostates and heretics. Pope John XXII, in A.D. 1319, led a fierce persecution against the Antisacrament Christians. Pope Urban VI, in A.D. 1365, aroused an intense persecution against the so called heretics in France. Many righteous ones were martyred in Austria, Poland, and Bohemia. In the year 1390, a severe persecution broke out against the believers in the countries of the Baltic Sea. The fourteenth century ends with England establishing the death penalty against all who opposed the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Following the faithful ones into the fifteenth century we begin in the year 1421, where a great number of Christians were burned to death in the Flemish countries for rejecting the errors of the Roman Catholic Church. These Christians rejected principally: papal authority, the mass, transubstantiation, the invocation of saints, purgatory, infant baptism, and the swearing of oaths. In 1478, Pope Sixtus IV established the notorious Spanish Inquisition. He ordered that heretics be rooted out, “by way of fire.” 8
We pause now to give honor to a faithful, steadfast Christian woman, in the 15th century, named Margaret Backster, who in testifying about the many fallacies of the Roman Church, to her deponent, Joanna Cleveland, was imprisoned until her death. One of Margaret’s statements to Joanna, that sealed her fate, was that Joanna’s beliefs in the sacrament of the altar were in vain. She also told her that if God was truly in the presence of the sacrament, there would be a countless number of gods, since 1,000 priests and more, make 1,000 such gods a day, and eat them. She expired as a faithful witness of God’s truth around A.D. 1494. Some, martyrologists say that Margaret was secretly murdered in prison, either way she died as a light in a very dark world.
16th through the 19th Centuries
The bloody amphitheatre of the 16th century, had five ruthless leaders (gladiators) attacking and persecuting the righteous ones, the Roman and Greek Catholic Church, the Church of England, the Lutheran Church, and the Church of Scotland. In 1536, the Portugal Inquisition was established, and in 1542, Pope Paul III, instituted the Roman Inquisition. The Courts of Inquisitions worked their greatest havoc in Spain, Portugal, and in the Balearic Islands. There were Courts of the Inquisition also in Lisbon, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mexico, Peru, Goa, and Guadeloupe. Giving honor to some of the martyrs in the sixteenth century, we salute Thomas Harding and his wife, Lawrence Guale, Annie Askew, and a young man named William Fetty. Most of these righteous ones were put to death for denying the presence of God in the sacrament. Those who were accused of this “crime” and were burned to death were: Mr. Guale, Mr. Harding and his wife, and Annie Askew. After Tom Harding and his wife’s body were burnt to ashes, the priests declared to the spectators that they would grant the spectators an indulgence to commit sins for forty days, if they would bring to them fagots to burn other heretics of the church. 9 Annie Askew suffered greatly for her Christian faith. She was turned out of her home by her Catholic husband, Thomas Kyme. Accused as a heretic, she was brought to trial where she testified to Chancellor Wriothesely, who asked her if she believed the priests had the power to make the “consecrated bread” into the body of Christ. She answered him that she had read that God made man; but that man made God she had never read, nor did she suppose ever would. She also declared that the consecrated bread was just bread, made fit for a mouse. Annie was quickly taken to be tortured on a rack for days. Her body was so elongated that they had to chain her to a chair to be burned to death. Annie died on July 16, 1546.
Our heroic young martyr, William Fetty, whose father, John Fetty, was accused of apostatizing from his Catholic faith, by his wife, and was then placed in prison. William, at the tender age of eight, upon requesting to see his father, was asked by the attending bishop, “Who is thy father.” William replied, “John Fetty.” The interrogating wolf said, “Why, thy father is a heretic!” Little William herald, “My father is no heretic, for you have Balaam’s mark!” 10 The enrage chaplain took William into the prison house, where he had him stripped and scourged. William was scourged so violently, that he had fainted, covered in blood and ready to expire. Suffering in his helpless condition, he was finally taken to his father. His father, in trembling amazement, asked what had been done to him. William, being placed on his father’s knee, as if recovering strength at the sight of his father and hearing his voice, related the circumstances that had led up to his merciless condition. The bishop for fear of punishment, had John Fetty released. William died in his father’s arms, not many days later. His death was sometime in the reign of Bloody Mary (A.D. 1553-1558).
Pope Paul IV (A.D. 1555-1559), a previous Dominican friar and Grand Inquisitor, was known as a master of torture. In his reigning years he launched vigorous pursuits in searching for and apprehending heretics of Roman Catholic Church, sparing no one, including bishops and cardinals. Pope Pius V (A.D. 1566-1572) exceeded Pope Paul IV in terrorizing those who opposed the sacramental teachings of the Roman Catholic faith. His biographer wrote of him that his ardent desires were to exterminate heretics and to extend to Roman faith. In a letter he wrote to the queen of France, promising her assistance into heaven if she would pursue the enemies of the Roman Catholic Church, he said to her, “…’til they are all massacred, for it is only by the entire extermination of heretics that the Roman Catholic Church can be restored.” 11 In 1659, there arose a severe persecution against the Antisacrament righteous ones in Berne, Switzerland. This persecution was very rigorous and long suffering, that it seemed that the authorities would not yield in their persecution of these righteous ones until they were eradicated.
We pause now to give honor to a man, who was martyred in the 17th century, named Daniel Rambault, who was tortured in the cruelest methods imaginable, and then put to death for refusing to submit to many of the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching, particularly: the real presence in the host, rejecting purgatory, the pope’s infallibility, the masses said for the dead, and refusing to pray to saints. Upon Daniel’s refusal of these named articles, the priests ordered one joint of his fingers to be cut off everyday day, they then preceded with his toes, and then they amputated a hand, then a foot, and then again the other hand, then the other foot; they finally stabbed him in the heart, and gave his body to the dogs. Daniel was a man of great patience and endurance with a strong commitment to his Savior; Daniel’s testimony should be stored in our hearts as an example of faithfulness to a cause. In the seventeenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century the bloody Spanish Inquisition raged wherever Spain ruled. It was finally abolished in July 15, 1834.
Before heading into the 20th through the 21st centuries, we sadly describe, some of the atrocities that these defenseless righteous ones, have endured in these Dark Ages in their desire to be faithful to their God and Savior. Their death toll exceeds any holocaust that individual nations and their citizens have ever gone through. Men and women, regardless of age, were flung from cliffs and babies and children were thrown to starving dogs or cremated (the “good” friars would, of course, baptize them first). These cross bearing saints, were torn or cut to pieces and their bodies were ripped open and then left to die. Other’s had their ears, noses, tongues, fingers, toes, limbs, and breasts cut off or their eyes gouged out. Some were pierced through with swords, from ear to ear, and others starting from their elimination area, and then thrust through their entire body. They were locked in iron cages to slowly die of starvation, or fixed to the ground to die in the same manner. They also were forced to leave their homelands with nothing but their shoes and the clothes on their backs, to perish in the cold of winter. Others were sawn in half, horizontally and vertically. Some other methods of torture were as follows: ladder rack and wheel torture – the living broken body of the victim was braided into a ladder or wheel, and then placed atop long polls, so that the heretic would die being pecked and torn to pieces by the birds of the sky. Dislocation of limbs – the executioner would secure the victim’s wrist to iron rings in the wall, and his feet to rings in the floor, then by hauling on ropes the unfortunate victim’s joints were all dislocated. Water Cure – thirty pints of water was forcibly administered to the presumed heretic, and then their bodies were tilted upside down. Torture Rack – the poor Christian’s arms and legs were tied to a rack and then stretched for days. Various sources reported some cases of elongation of bodies of up to twelve inches. Other’s had their bowels taken out, hooked onto a drum, which was then slowly wound around it. This was one of the most common methods of execution, along with being burnt to death, and beheaded. From the beginning of the Dark Ages - A.D. 426 to 1834 - to the end of all Inquisitions was roughly 1400 years of oppression, persecution, savage tormenting, and ruthless blood shed that these righteous ones suffered. The mountain of martyrdom is beyond comprehension. In descending this mountain of martyred saints, we pass through valleys of skulls, broken and burnt bones, and rivers of the blood, where the bodies of the antisacrament saints have been thrown into, at the hands of the leaders of the Roman Catholic and protestant churches.
20th through the 21th Centuries
The righteous blood of the saints continues to flow into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. There are hundreds of countries today were Christians are suffering either persecution and severe oppression, or extreme limitations in their desire to practice their Christian faith. In the twentieth century, 1917-1918, during the Russian Revolution, came not only one of the cruelest dictators the world has ever known, Vladimir Lenin (1917-1924), but also the bloodiest and most massive religious persecution in history. Lenin appealed to the other communist leaders insisting that they needed to archly blitz the churches and to deal religion a deadly blow. He stated that, “Just now, and only now, when in the country side, they eat people, and there are hundreds and even thousands, of corpses lying on the road, we can (and we must) conduct seizure of church valuables with most frenzied and merciless energy, never minding suppression of any kind of resistances…with cruelty, which they will not forget for many decades.” 12 Lenin, in ardently following Karl Marx’s teachings, set about to fulfill Marx’s desire. As Marx’s stated, “I wish to avenge myself against the One who rules above . . .” 13 Many true believers and false believers, under the Christian name, were torn from their love ones, battered, tortured, imprisoned, and murdered. Sadly many of these victims had believed in vain, such as Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and others who had worshipped incorrectly; they too perished under this newly established atheistic, communistic government. This persecution continued for many decades. In 1967, Lutheran pastor, Richard Wurmbrand, wrote about the torture and suffering that he and countless others had endured in communist prisons. Mr. Wurmbrand, in testifying before the Internal Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate, said that Christians were tied to crosses for four days and nights. The crosses were then put on the floor and then hundreds of prisoners were forced to fulfill their bodily necessities over the faces and bodies of the crucified ones. The crosses were then erected, as the communist jeered and mocked, “Look at your Christ! How beautiful He is! What a fragrance he brings form heaven.” 14 Christians were hung upside down on ropes and beaten severely; they were put in refrigerator cells, and watched by prison doctors, who would check for signs of freezing to death. The doctor would then take the victims out to “thaw,” and then would place them back into the icebox. Thawing the prisoner out, and then freezing them again within a minute or two of death. Christians were also put in wooden boxes slightly larger than themselves. These boxes had dozens of sharp nails driven into them. The prisoners were left in these boxes for endless hours of torture. A young man who was martyred in this said time was Alexander who, at the age of fourteen, was brought to his imprisoned and exhausted father, Florescu; who in withstanding his Christian beliefs was forced to stand up for two weeks, both day and night. Florescu was then placed back into his rat filled cell and forced to watch his son Alexander be beaten, until he renounced his faith and confessed the names of other Christians that he knew. Florescu cried out to his son, “Alexander, I must say what they want! I can’t bear your beating any more!” To which Alexander answered, “Father, don’t do me the injustice to have a traitor as a parent. Withstand! If they kill me, I die with the words, ‘Jesus and my father-land’.” 15 The enraged communists beat him to death, so much so, that his blood spattered all over the walls of the cell.
The communist regime of China back in the year 1716, prohibited all Christian religious teachings, and in 1805, the Chinese government banned all Christian literature from entering into its country. In the twentieth century, there were more Christians imprisoned in China, than in any other nation in the world. Since 1984, Christian prisoners and others imprisoned in the Chinese Laogai forced labor camps have had their organs extracted for profit and their bodies secretly cremated, according to a report by the Laogai Research Foundation in 2006. Over 50,000,000 people have suffered in the demonically cruel Laogai prison system since its inception and there have been innumerable deaths. Over 1,000 organs a year are harvested from these defenseless victims and are received by Chinese and foreign patients around the world. Christians who don’t register their home churches with the communistic state sanctioned Patriotic Association, (which is very much under the control of the atheistic thugs of the Chinese Government) if discovered, encounter severe persecution; which includes beatings, fines, or imprisonment in one of the thousands of forced labor camps. These righteous ones are forced to labor sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, in the Laogai. Today the Laogai system subjects millions of prisoners (some record up to 6.8 million) to suffer from maltreatment, starvation, beatings, torture, organ harvesting, and forced labor (that is why products made in China are cheap).
In 1948, North Korea was taken over by the communist dictator, Kim I1 Sung. Kim I1 Sung employed a campaign of indoctrination, in his reign, much like Mark’s and Stalin’s, but with his own ideologies. Before Kim I1 Sung took power, North Korea was nicknamed, “Asia’s Jerusalem”, because of its strong presence of Christianity. Today virtually all presence of Christianity is gone, since freedom of religion doesn’t exist there anymore. In 1994, the evil dictator Kim Jong I1 came into power and hundreds of Christians were executed. In testimonies from previous imprisoned Christians and Open Doors International it has been estimated that there are up to seventy-thousand Christians imprisoned on account of their faith. These steadfast Christians are forced to labor for the North Korean government and they usually die of malnutrition. The citizens of North Korea have horrible living conditions, it has been estimated that two to three million have died in the past ten years because of starvation.
In 1994, the president of Iran, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, declared that there was no longer validity to other religions and that Iran and the entire Muslim world must adopt the prophet and Jihad as a model. Since the 2004 election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a strong wave of persecution came to “cleanse” Iran from all non-Islamic influences. At the beginning of his tyranny he publicly announced that he would stop Christianity in his country and pledged to restore an Islamic government. His aim is to install in his staff Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi. Yazdi is committed to using any means necessary to clean Iran of any Western Culture. The newspaper that he controls, “Parto Sokhan”, advertises for and recruits thousands of young Iranians for a “martyrs brigade” against the non-Islamic influences in Iran. The statement made by Rafsanjani is unilateral in almost all Muslim countries, where the world wide antichristian attitude and hatred of Christianity, is dominant in militant Islam. It is a crime to be a Christian, and is punishable by death or imprisonment for a Muslim to convert to Christianity. This is upheld in many Muslim nations today such as: Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Sudan. In order to lower their profile in the foreign press many countries have Christians arrested under false charges, accusing them of having drugs or pornography in their possession, when they really were only carrying Bibles or Bible literature.
The northern Sudanese Government has enslaved, kidnapped and imprisoned, starved, tortured, and assassinated Christians and non-Muslims in its religious war against the southern Sudan Christians. This war has resulted in over a million deaths and has displaced more than 3,000,000 Christians and non-Muslims. Since the year 2005, with the signing of the peace deal between the north Sudanese and the south Sudanese governments, there have been no confirmed reports of Christians being killed for there faith since the signing of the declaration.
Lenin once said, “. . . you cannot make omelets without breaking the shells of the eggs . . .” and that, “. . . you cannot cut wood without making chips fly.” 16 To Lenin and the other murderers of our dear righteous ones, who wanted to break their bodies and cut them to pieces in order to destroy the light on earth; Jesus says to them, “Woe to you.” God says of them, “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’ “For the Lord will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their strength is gone, and there is none remaining, bond or free. ‘I will make My arrows drunk with blood, And My sword will devour flesh, With the blood of the slain and the captives, From the long-haired leaders of the enemy.’” Matt. 23:29, Duet. 32:35-36 & 42.
In penning the accounts of the sufferings and deaths that these righteous ones had endured (and are still enduring today) we have also printed some of the visual examples of some of the methods of torture that they had to bare, in hoping to better aid us in our contemplating and envisaging their faithful, steadfast, and convicting testimonies.
Christian father and son, Gevrije and Sami Bulut, were tortured and martyred by Muslim extremists in their home in Turkey in 1990.
DISEMBOWLEMENT WHEEL TORTURE
LADDER RACK JUDAS CRADDLE
EYE GOUGING THE HERETIC’S FORK
GARROTING CAT’S PAW
HEAD CRUSHER CAT’S PAW
“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”
– William Shakespeare
“Whoever destroys a single life is guilty as though he had destroyed the entire world; and whoever rescues a single life earns as much merit as though he had rescued the entire world.”
– The Talmud, Mishna. Sanhedrin
These righteous ones passed their test on earth and Satan’s test to them who said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.” Job 2:4. If a memorial wall with the names of all of the righteous ones from Able to the last righteous one slain written on it was made, there wouldn’t be a place on this planet large enough to put it. Thankfully our heavenly Father has a better memorial for them and all who overcome their tests. “‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I WILL WRITE ON HIM the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” Revelation 3:12.
2. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe, P. 9, c1926 by John C. Winston (renewed 1954 Holt, Rinehart &Winston) (Zondervan Publishing House 1967)
3. ibid, p. 7
4. ibid, p. 15
8. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe, P. 193, c1926 by John C. Winston (renewed 1954 Holt, Rinehart &Winston) (Zondervan Publishing House 1967)
9. ibid, p. 281-284
10. http://www.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761552909/Inquisition-by- fire.html
12. MARX & SATAN, by Richard Wurmbrand, CO. Address: The Voice of the Martyrs, P.O. Box 443, Bartlesville, OK 74005
13. Tortured for Christ, by Richard Wurmbrand, p. 38, c1967 by The Voice of the Martyrs, Inc. Published by Living Sacrifice Book Co.
14. ibid, p. 36
15. ibid, p. 37
17. http://www.cryingvoice.com/christian-martyrs/ TensPersIntro.htm
21. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe, P. 44, c1926 by John C. Winston (renewed 1954 Holt, Rinehart &Winston) (Zondervan Publishing House 1967)
25. Inquisition by Dobert Held c1985 by Qua d’ Arno, Bilingual publishers, p.S.M. Soprarno, 1, 50125 Florence, Italy
38. http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2006/07/06team_says_ china_harvests_falun_gong_organs
41. The Trail of Blood, by J. M. Carrol, c1931, Bryon Page Printing CO., Lexington, Kentucky
42. IN THE LION’S DEN, by Nina Shea, c1997, published by Broadman&Holman Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee