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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Martyr:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Expand : *More is needed on secular martyrdom e.g. political martyrdom (e.g. apartheid)
    • Coverage of martyrdom as a strategy in warfare
      • Killing an important figure may only strengthen an enemy's resolve and inspire new recruits (e.g. execution of Saddam Hussein)
      • Martyrdom as a battlefield tactic - e.g. children blowing up tanks in the Iran-Iraq War
    • Martyrdom as it relates to the sociological love styles, agape in particular.
    • Verify : More references required (citations)
Priority 1 (top)

Early discussion[edit]

Christians of all three major divisions of Christianity--Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants--have long histories of killing other Christians in the name of orthodoxy. The current article for the most part only treats of persecutions by Catholics. Mention is made of the persecutions of Protestants under Queen Mary of England, for example, without reference to the fact that Catholics were martyred in England under the reign of her father King Henry VIII (e.g. Sir Thomas More, Cardinal John Fisher, and others) and hundreds others under her successor Queen Elizabeth. As such, the writer unintentionally gives the impression of anti-Catholic bias.

Also, great care should be taken when citing "Foxe's Book of the Martyrs" as a historical source. While it was, and to some degree remains, a classic of Protestant spirituality, both Anglican and Catholic scholars acknowlege that its primary purpose was to edify and inspire Protestants, and as such it contains many historical inaccuries. Respectfully, --BTG 17:32, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

No basis for that statement, so it was removed.

a modern definition of martyr should include the way of using it in everyday speech to suggest that someone is making a big deal out of their own work or suffering, implies criticism.

I am removing the following:

This claim is of course but one point of view, and the veracity of such a claim tends to be measured not in the merits, but in terms of the outcomes of conflict. ("History is written by the victor.")

which comes right after the note about American President saying that American war dead have sacrificed themselves for freedom. It is pretty obvious that this is in fact President's point of view, and there is no need to rub it in here. Also, this is not about the winners or losers writing history. In American historiography American soldiers die for freedom in all wars (or at least they should be). Obviously, in Arab historiography they die for different causes. Both the winners and losers write their histories and write them the way they feel like, except perhaps for the more extreme cases such as the Russians heavily influencing writing of history textbooks for the East European countries or something like that. Watcher 01:35, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

Proposed sentences for Removal from "Hero or Villian?" section[edit]

The last three sentences at the end of "Hero or Villian?" section seem to be a digression into the discussion of war crimes rather than martyrs and are fairly POV as well:

In the West intentional efforts to kill as many civilians as possible are generally considered war crimes, as opposed to the death of civilians that is incidental to accomplishment of other goals, such as destruction of military or industrial infrastructure. Such fine distinctions are generally not made by anti-war and pacifist movements who denounce any death of civilians as war crimes and generally consider war a crime as of itself with essential moral equivalence between the two combatants, even if one of them kills civilians wholesale and other only accidentally. They are also not made by non-Western nations deemed guilty of war crimes under this standard because they would generally seek to establish a moral equivalence between their actions and actions of Western or American militaries.

Given that there weren't any objections, I've removed them from the main article mennonot 16:47, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

20th century martyrs[edit]

Many church historians believe that there were more Christian martyrs in the 20th century than in the first 19 centuries combined.

Is there any proof to back this statement up? I would like to see who all these martyrs are.--Lucky13pjn 01:54, Jul 3, 2004 (UTC)

I second that request for a reference. Surveying all martyrs over the last 19 centuries would be a huge task and perhaps impossible due to lack of documentation. I also wonder what definition of martyr is being used here.
Well, it's been over two months, and since nobody has replied to back up this statement, I am going to remove it until someone can.--Lucky13pjn 18:26, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)

I question the following statement, and ask for verification of it.

Estimates of Christian martyrs in the 21st century are about 450 daily, and 160,000 yearly.

If it can't be verified, I think it should be taken out. Chris Peterson 10:02, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)chrisptx

Martyr Category[edit]

Would it be useful to create a martyr category? Does something like this exist already? There's the beginning of a list over at christian martyrs mennonot 22:52, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I would say yes. The only problem I see is controversy on the inclusion of some people's articles into the category.--Lucky13pjn 23:51, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)
FYI, I'm currently in edit conflicts with User:Bakasuprman in a variety of articles regarding inclusion in Category:Hindu martyrs. In regards to this some sort of clarification needs to be done in terms of the definitions for categorization. It cannot be enough that an individual wiki editor, or a referenced writer/journalist/politician, etc., feels that a certain person has become a martyr. --Soman 19:56, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Certain users seem to be bent on emptying the cat of entries which definitely meet the definition of martyr. MArtyr and martyrdom are two different things, and a reliable source to back up an assertion based on the definition of martyr should be enough.Bakaman 20:04, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
No, there cannot be any npov definition of 'martyr' if the concept is to be separated from 'martyrdom'. It cannot be enough that a person feels that another person is a 'martyr' (then the categories could populate beyond limits), there is a need to provide source that there is some sort of collective recognition of martyrdom. If martyrs are to be classified by religious lines, then the categorization need to be done based on religious practice. --Soman 20:49, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Which is where a mainstream printed source comes in, satisfying the definition of martyr and therefore in the process validating the point. It cannot be enough that one user has a definition of what can and cannot happen, and tries to cherrypick wording detrimental to the usefulness of the cat.Bakaman 02:01, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Which is a direct reference to a series of comments on another talk page. See Talk:Bineshwar Brahma to get some context of the debate. --Soman 02:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

In Islam[edit]

Muslims were subjected to persecution at the hands of the polytheists of Mecca; see Persecution of Muslims for more detail.

I'm not sure how this pertains to the section. I've left in "see Persecution of Muslims", but that link and the text doesn't seem to comment on shahid or martyrs. While I have no doubt that Muslims were subjected to persecution, the Hadith addresses the concept of the shahid in an entirely different context. I removed the text because it reads as a non sequitur. I'm willing to admit that I'm wrong, so I would welcome any comment on my edits. - Viriditas

I'm not sure which Hadith you're referring to, but I put Sumaya in because, according to the hadiths cited in the page linked to, she was the first shahida (or indeed martyr of either sex) of Islam, at the hands of Abu Jahl. - Mustafaa 12:22, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Why is there not a section of martyrs to Christian Intolerance. I mean how many people where slaughtered because of this. I mean Hypatia is one bout the cathar's of southern France, or the salem wittch trials or the native peoples in North america. I think this article needs a section on Martyrs of Christian intolerance to be taken seriously.

Don't forget that Islam is one of the most intolerable religions out there.

  • I think you meant to write "intolerant". Either way, and true or not, how is that relevant to the article?

There is no freedom of religion at all in Muslim countries.

  • Does the fact that some Islamic countries don't allow other religions actually relate to Islamic martydom?

Many people have been murdered. A lot more than what that guy above said. Besides, there were no Puritan leaders present at the Salem witch trials, and the slaughtering of Native peoples wasn't carried out by Christians.

  • Clearly, no true Scotsman would slaughter natives, but I'm missing how that effects our knowledge of Muslim martyrs.

You could say that if you take into account that the US was a "Christian" society, influenced by Christian morals, but you can't just take all the actions of wicked people in a generally "Christian" country, and stereotype them as representing Christianity.

  • Yes, it would clearly be wrong to generalize from a minority who claim to follow a particular creed to a majority who also claim to follow that creed. Unless that creed is Islam. I'm sorry, how does this relate to Muslim martyrs, again?

-- 02:11, 23 July 2006 (UTC) This revision attributed an opinion to Richard Bulliet based on quotes from a NY Daily News article The article did not say at all what the user Historicist inserted into the article, and I confirmed with Professor Bulliet himself that Historicist's insertion did not reflect his opinion. I deleted the NY Daily News article because it's main assertion, that martyrdom in Islam is different from martyrdom in Christianity, is absurd.

I also deleted the discussion of jihad. As others in this discussion have pointed out, they are two separate topics. As I've tried to show in my revisions of January 21, 2009, Muslims believe martyrdom can only be in obedience, so killing and being killed in an illegitimate conflict would be considered a sin, not martyrdom.Afadel (talk) 20:32, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I wonder if the example on the attack on the marines in beruit is a neutral example - I'm sure it was condemmed by some muslims - why use that an example of marytardom? Someone who cares should remove it - its adds a specific sujective context to the article that I think it on called for in a general article about a subject.

Martyrs of the Spanish Inquisition[edit]

I read somewhere that some group of victims of the Spanish Inquisition venerated those dead at its hands, mirroring the veneration of Christian martyrs, even when the pure form of their religion didn't allow this veneration. The problem is that I don't remember if the group was the Crypto-Jews or Moriscos. --Error 03:31, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)


It redirects back to martyr. Would the term even be worth a new article? Just a minor thing, but still. Also, is it "shahid" or "shaheed?"

TaintedMustard 06:31, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Definition I think this definition page misses the main concept of MARTYR: That is that the martyr's life HAS BEEN TAKEN because of a refusal to compromise ones actions or belief: - rather than choosing to give ones life to make a moral point. The sacrificial giving of one's life for a cause is rightly not referred to as martyrdom (Matthew 21 May 2005)

Jewish Martyrs/others[edit]

There should probably be sections on martyrs from backgrounds than Christian and Muslim, especially Jewish. I couldn't do it, but I think it's desperately needed.

  • I added a sort of stub--the phrase Kiddush Hashem, a brief quote from R. Ephraim ben Yaakov's famous account of the martyrdom at Blois (full description available at ). Clearly, this is a very small amount of information, and more is desperately needed... but at least something's there now. Makrina 18:20, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Just as a suggestion, is Samson considered a Jewish martyr? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 22 August 2010 (UTC)


Edited in the Greek text for the etymology. --CaveatLector 05:11, 21 December 2005 (UTC)[edit]

I'm trying to revert the vandalism by this user, but for some reason I can't. If someone can do it, it would be helpful. JHMM13 (T | C) 08:01, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Anti-Catholic persecution in Britain[edit]

Please provide source for the statement about more people martyred by the Angelican Monarchs than by the Catholic ones, or remove it. I doubt that the number of Catholics killed could 'dwarf' the number of protestants killed under Queen 'Mary the Bloody'.

I agree. The section on Reformation martyrdom does not conform to the standards of neutrality expected here. Approximately 280-300 individuals were executed for religious reasons under Mary I. The Roman Catholic church recognises "Forty English Martyrs" from this period (canonised in 1970). Figures are complicated by the fact that some of those executed under Mary were probably Anabaptists, who would have been executed under Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Secondly, with one exception, Catholics were not executed for their religious beliefs specifically, but for treason/sedition.

More to the point, however, Anabaptists were not merely killed by Catholics, but by Lutherans and Reformed Christians as well. The claim in the article that Anabaptists somehow abandoned Christianity is hopelessly biased. They would certainly not have understood themselves as having done this.

An old discussion but, no, the Catholic Church does not recognise only forty martyrs (see English Martyrs) and although "dwarfed" may be an overstatement, there are certainly more Catholic martyrs than protestants. -- (talk) 14:51, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

72 virgins?[edit]

Is there any basis for what I keep hearing -- that Muslim jihadists believe that martyrs are rewarded in the afterlife with 72 virgins? Does anyone know anything about that? --Hyphen5 03:22, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Read Sam Harris: The End of Faith (The End of Faith). "virgins" was probably a mistranslation of "white raisins" which were apparently a delicacy back then. All those suicide bombers must have been a little disappointed when they got there. 11:32, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

You can read more about this here, particularly in and around paragraph 30. Aecis Find the fish 17:31, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Misspelling of the word Which[edit]

Towards the end of the article it is misspelled whjich. 21:13, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Was it really necessary to tell us that? Mr. C.C. 16:23, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Book Plug?[edit]

I can't help but notice that the paragraph that starts "Hugh Barlow, in his new book Dead for Good: Martyrdom and the Rise of the Suicide Bomber (Boulder,CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2007), argues that..." is refering to a book that appears to be due to be published next year. As the book hasn't yet been published, I can only conclude that the preson citing it is involved in it in some way, and as such this strikes me as original research at best, and plugging one's own product at worst. 17:32, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

It's dancing on the line between reference and spam - I've moved it down to the reference section which is more appropriate. Richard001 20:27, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Political Martyrs[edit]

Would it be proper to start a section on political martyrs in this article. Meaning: a person who is killed for their political beliefs, especially when that person represents a persecuted minority, and because of their death later becomes a symbol for members of some groups to rally around. Primary examples I can think of are Martin Luther King and Ghandhi. Or does that stretch and dilute the meaning of martyr too much? 20:14, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

In South Asian politics, the term shahid is commonly used for political martyrs. --Soman 19:51, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
i agree. but there should be certain qualifiers for mention. jose rizal would be good as he has a day named after him in the philippines. but what about White Rose? it is questionable as to what differenciates between political treason and belief alone in reasons for execution. for instance Che Guevara is considered a martyr by many but he was executed for leading a guerrilla militia. see Category:Executed revolutionaries, Category:Executed writers and Category:Executed activists many of whom had shady trials convicting them of reasons unrelated to belief. there is also cross over between religious and political martyrs under many communist dictatorships. and many other martyrs who might not fall into the political category who i think are worth mention. such as the executions performed by inquisitions for 'heretical propositions'. examples; apostates or scientists like Giordano Bruno.

other section titles?

war and politics 
other martyrs

Some thing 21:46, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Scope of article[edit]

There is a paragraph in the 20th century section which is really stretching the boundary here. Martyrdom is about belief in a higher ideology or cause, for example religion or political belief. Dying for one's friends or children doesn't really qualify as martrydom, and I would hesitate to describe Cassie Bernall as a martyr as well. The real question there is whether she would have been shot if she had said she didn't believe in God.

Martyrs can even be found in today's United States, particularly in school massacres. Cassie Bernall (died in Columbine High School massacre 1999) is believed to be a martyr by most Christians. After she had been asked by Eric Harris if she believed in God, she was fatally shot. A book written by Bernall's mother, Misty Bernall, called She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall which discusses Cassie's teenage life and spirituality. Marian Fisher, one of the girls who died in the 2006 Amish schoolhouse massacre asked the killer to shoot her first in an apparent bid to save the younger girls who were being held as hostages together with her. Fisher's 11-year-old sister, Barbie, appealed to Roberts to shoot her next. In the Red Lake High School massacre, a student named Chase Lussier died saving one of his friend's lives.

I've removed all but the section on Bernall. Richard001 21:33, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the section on Bernall too now. See the Columbine High School massacre article for the details - it seems unlikely she even said this, and the two shooters were on a killing rampage - they weren't after any particular group. Richard001 02:23, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Constantinian shift[edit]

Why was this POV and unverifiable term used and added into this article? Also why was the statement added that after the legalization of Christianity there where no more martyrs? This is not history and is completely inaccurate and wrong. LoveMonkey 07:28, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Essay (moved from mainspace)[edit]

St. George being broken on the wheel, St. Georg Stift, Tübingen, Germany

The word ' martyr' is derived from μάρτυς (martys), the Greek word for "witness". During the early Roman Empire, the independent cities of Asia Minor made efforts to reward benefactors for their services, and to promote further civic generosity by means of public acclamations, eulogistic honorific decrees were addressed to the Roman authorities and read in public places before an audience. Such commendations are usually referred to in epigraphic sources as martyriai. Christians adopted the phrase "martyrs" in the "testimonies" for the act, suffering and self-sacrifice of the persecuted.

The meaning that 'martyr' has today first appeared around 150 AD in Christian documents. The first instance is in the Martyrdom of Polycarp. Hugh Barlow[1] argues that throughout written history, martyrdom arises in the context of lop-sided conflicts, and is both expressive and instrumental. The "active submission" of ancient Judaism and early Christianity represents the first stage of an evolutionary process that took two paths, one leading eventually to the suicide bombers of today. This path is a militant one, appearing first with the rise of Islam and the Muhammad's attempts to protect the fledgling community of believers (umma). These early warrior-martyrs sacrificed themselves in a struggle which resulted in war, guided by the Quran and the Hadith.

During the 200-year Crusades the warrior-martyrs of Islam found themselves confronted by warrior-martyrs of Christ fighting at the behest of Pope Urban II. Urban was responding to a plea from the Byzantine emperor Alexius, but he saw an opportunity to wrest the Holy Land from Muslim hands. Urban offered his knights immortality and forgiveness of sins. Those who died killing the enemy would gain "everlasting glory," as a "living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God."

Around the same time as the Crusades, the medieval Shiite Assassins introduced a new practice: sending warriors on murder missions that were almost certain to be suicidal; these suicide commandos (fedeyeen) would reappear seven centuries later. In the meantime, warrior-martyrdom became a defining trait and obligation of the Khalsa Sikhs in the Punjab. So instinctive was their self-sacrifice in battle that enemies admired them as fearless, in the mold of Sikh hero and martyr Baba Deep Singh.

When the Japanese introduced the Kamikaze suicide squads into the Pacific Theater of World War II, they turned warrior-martyrs into martyr-warriors; martyrdom had become an organized strategy of warfare, with fighters specially recruited and trained to sacrifice themselves in airborne attacks on the advancing Allied navy. The kamikazes targeted enemy soldiers, not civilians.

Exemplified by the suicide-bomber, a new type of martyrdom appeared with the 1983 Hezbollah attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Barlow calls this type predatory martyrdom to emphasize the indiscriminate killing of civilians. The death and destruction wrought in the 9/11 Al-Qaeda suicide attack on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon shocked the world. Suicide bombings have created hundreds of predatory martyrs during the ongoing conflict in Iraq.


Is article is to much dominated by Christian religious discourse, and thus fails npov. Massive material solely relating to the usage of the martyrdom concept should be moved to its appropriate article. Rather this article should focus on the global phenomena of martyrdom/martyr cults. --Soman 12:12, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree that it is dominated by Christian martyr info, but not sure that npov assessment is correct without further discussion; I had looked for info about martyrs from other religions and found little. Is 'martyr' a concept from that religion and only adopted from others later?
"Martyr cults" strikes me as a different concept, i.e., suicide bombing groups that wish to advance an agenda through violence, versus someone who is committed to standing up non-violently for their beliefs or faith by has violence done to them. Respectfully posted -- Fremte 17:52, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I think the article is dominated by Christian martyr material for three sensible reasons, which make it apparent that such prevalence of Christian related subject matter is not POV. First, the concept is most predominant in the Christian faith and really arose in that context (the nature of Christ's sacrifice and Christian emulation of that sacrifice account for this - other major faiths do not have quite the same centrality of the sacrifice of one's life). Second, Christianity existed for six centuries before Islam and hence has a longer history of martyrdom. Third, Christianity has twice as many adherents as Islam (and vastly more than Judaism), hence another actual (not POV) disproportion. Mamalujo 20:34, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

What about martyr as a psychological personality trait? Or would that be a separate page from the disambiguation page? Bmjm (talk) 12:27, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Persecution of Muslims link[edit]

What does the article, Persecution of Muslims, have to do with this article. In fact, the word "martyr" doesn't appear in the article "Persecution of Muslims." Therefore, I am deleting the "See also: Persecution of Muslims" link that's below the chapter title, "Islam." However, "Martyrdom" does have to do with the article, Persecution of Christians. Therefore, I am not deleting the link, "See also: Persecution of Christians" that appears below the chapter title, "Christianity." ask123 (talk) 01:14, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Changes to article[edit]

I've made some changes to this article. Defining something primarily by its etymology, rather than by its actual meaning, is a very novel approach. It's not followed elsewhere on Wikipedia. We don't introduce hysteria as a "complaint of the womb" and mention in passing that a later definition exists, do we? And we certainly wouldn't want to do that with sycophant or platypus or stegosaurus. Secondly the definition is wrong. Martyrs don't have to further their beliefs to be martyrs, but they usually have to refuse to renounce them: the idea is that just as a "witness" under torture might refuse to renounce his master even on the point of death, so a Christian martyr is one who refuses to renounce his faith even when faced with death. So the term is still primarily religious though other analagous uses are possible. Additionally, the information seems to contradict itself, or else it is chronologically confusing: it says that "martyr" acquired a religious meaning but that it was then borrowed by English where its meaning was extended to acquire religious connotations. Lastly, the meaning is primarily religious. There are indeed Tolpuddle Martyrs and Metric Martyrs but these are named by analogy with the religious meaning because they are said in the loosest sense to have died for their beliefs. They are not remnants of some hypothetical earlier English meaning. -- (talk) 01:54, 11 September 2009 (UTC)


How come there is no section titled 'science', demonstrating all the exampled of scientific martyrdom throughout history, of which there is much? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:47, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Witness to God[edit]

In the meaning sections there is no mention of the interpretation that the martyr has offered themself as a witness to God of the ordeal, i.e. the martyrdom. Surely there must exist attestations for this interpretation. __meco (talk) 19:00, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Introductory statement appears inconsistent[edit]

"A martyr (Greek: μάρτυς, mártys, "witness"; stem μάρτυρ-, is somebody who suffers persecution and death, a country or an organization, usually religious, political or rights."

This statement seems written in a very messy form, missing some words, and it has unclear meaning.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I've just amended the opening to its earlier version. I don't think this [1] is an improvement. As mentioned above, the term in English originally means someone who dies for refusing to renounce his Christian beliefs. The stuff about dying for a country or organisation is completely bizarre. Does anyone really believe that a soldier who dies in a battle is more likely to be called a matyr than an early Christian saint? -- (talk) 15:26, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

St. Stephen Photo Not Of Martyrdom[edit]

I'm removing the picture of St. Sebastian because it is NOT a representation of his martyrdom. St. Stehen survived the many arrows. He was actually stoned to death. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Partially correct, Saint Stephen was stoned to death. However the image is Saint Sebastian and he was clubbed to death. CambridgeBayWeather (talk) 02:46, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Oops, I always get the names mixed up... It doesn't change the fact that Sebastian survived the arrows to live another day. Which is why he is patron saint of people with the plague (there's a reasonable explanation for it, involving skin lesions) (talk) 18:19, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
What's that got to do with removing the image? He was still a martyr. The image said that he was clubbed. CambridgeBayWeather (talk) 19:53, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
It was billed as a picture of martyrdom, even if it isn't, it gives the erroneous impression that it is a picture of his martyrdom, regardless of what the caption reads. There are more appropriate representations of martyrdom available. (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Martin Luther was NOT a martyr, he lived to a ripe old age, try Tyndale. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Islam section[edit]

Ref.: Martyr#Islam
All three links to the Quran were broken. I found the passages on other pages at the site, but when I read the passages, nothing about a martyr was mentioned in the first two, so I commented them out until an expert can look at it. The third link to the Quran does go to a passage that mentions a "Martyr", so I fixed that link.

– PIE ( CLIMAX )  20:45, 13 December 2011 (UTC)


Is there any particular reason why the Lollards - of all the Christian groups to have faced martyrdom - have their own section of this article? Particularly given the fact these paragraphs don't appear to have anything specific to say about martyrdom? It just seems odd that - while Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox and Copts and goodness knows how many other denominations are lumped together into a general overview - this short-lived medieval English sect gets such emphasis; it's not even as if they were the only group to be suppressed in the middle ages. (talk) 08:49, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree it is undue weight and I am taking it out. The link to Martyrdom is incidental. --BozMo talk 15:29, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Globalize "List of Famous Martyrs" Section[edit]

This section contains 9 Sikh martyrs, but only 3 Christians, 1 Muslim, 1 secular, and 10 Jewish (although they are listed as one bullet point) martyrs. I suggest that, in order to restore balance to this section, we remove those Sikhs who are less historically important and/or add other famous martyrs, such as Jan Hus and Saints Stephen, Paul, Peter, Joan of Arc, and Thomas Beckett, and perhaps reference the Jewish martyrs of the Holocaust. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ShiftlessOtaku (talkcontribs) 03:15, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Suffering only?[edit]

This article has major problems already noted, but I am wondering if label of 'martyr' can ever literally be applied to somebody alive and with all faculties. It seems there are various terms and phrases that would substitute for what, I think, is a mistaken or merely metaphorical use of the word. [P.S. On reading Bandit Queen, if one did not read particularly carefully, noticing that Phoolan Devi is dead and considered to have been a martyr by the article here (during a certain period of her life, prior to joining parliament(!)) could easily lead one to the wrong conclusion.] (talk) 19:45, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

New Martyrs[edit]

This article is missing information on the New Martyrs, who are important to Christian history. Could an expert in this area please add this? -Brennan M. Baker — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bmbaker88 (talkcontribs) 07:21, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Secular vs Religious[edit]

I need help

Neutrality. How do you add secularism to word God, and to word martyr??? These words can not be secular.

Word martyr is in many religious texts as we can see in the contents section, now just because someone decided to name some people martyr's in some event that happened in time who didn't even die or that did die doesn't make them martyrs, even though we call them.

Now this word is used by secular people the word God is used by secular people when they say that God is someone else other than God. This is the same problem with this word.

I need help with these trigger happy undo button pushers suggested by automated program that counts bytes???

The word martyr means witness yes, but we do not mean a witness in court here :) , we mean a witness in religious terms here, so there is no room for secularism on this page just as there is no room for athiests on religious pages, and religious people on atheists belief's pages :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by DeputyBob (talkcontribs) 15:28, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

You made bold edits. Those edits were reverted (repeatedly, by several editors). Now we need to discuss the issue. WP:BRD This is not the time for you to repeatedly restore your edits because you believe they are right. You must discuss the issue first.
Yes, "martyr" has a specific meaning in several religions. It also has meaning completely outside of religion. Various people have died or otherwise suffered to defend various ideas. Sometimes, those ideas have been the god(s) they believe in. Other causes have included religious freedom, racial equality, LGBT rights, gender equality, ends to various wars, etc. Words are defined by how people use them. If enough people refer to water as "wine" for long enough, tn bhe word will mean both wine and water. - SummerPhD (talk) 15:50, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

martyr does not have a 'specific' meaning in religions, in every religion it means to die protecting what God said, now the fact that there are different religions this is another subject....

Same goes for you, you should read my stuff and discuss before you undo everything i wrote, four of you undoed what i did, one guy did it four times :) ... you are not better than me just because there are four of you and you have a 'status' of an editor :)

The fact that secular people are using this word is kind of like saying the secular people use word God and change the meaning of if and say it means something else. Now if you want to add secular definitions of God such as, he does not exist, or secular sections to word martyr which means someone is a martyr that dies for his soccer team, feel free, if you have no fear of God :) .... just because you call someone a martyr cuz he gave his life for a country doesn't make him a martyr ... he is not....


this page needs to be split into religios and secular........ then lets see how many secular things can be written about the word???

U talk about this word about what other people use this word for , you really don't know what the word means.

there is a difference being a real martyr in the after life , vs a martyr (hero) in this life after you are dead or a fake one, a lie, not true one... i don't know how else to explain it. does the truth mean anything to you, or is the intention of wikipedia's staff to confuse to world :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by DeputyBob (talkcontribs) 16:01, 1 August 2013 (UTC)


I know nothing about the article, have never edited it. Please stop reverting. GB fan 15:47, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I ANSWERED yes you know nothing of the article so please stop reverting before you read it, just because you are an administrator doesn't mean you should not read the article. ok??DeputyBob (talk) 16:11, 1 August 2013 (UTC)


Mr GBfan, and the whole wikipedia Please stop assuming ownership of articles as you did at pretty much everything on your page. Behavior such as this is regarded as arrogance, arrogance defined as thinking you know something and you tell yourself you know this, but you really don't know it because you have been taught wrong, yes? This could lead to a very lonely life and you could be blocked from the planet. Thank you a human creature living on the planet which is called earth, and it can not be called something else just because wikipedia decides that some other people started calling the planet other names like martyr... ok?? DeputyBob (talk) 16:14, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict)
Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth. We cannot hope to establish the absolute "truth" about anything. We can, however, establish what reliable sources have said about a subject.
Wikipedia is not a battleground to establish that your belief is true and all others are in error. Wikipedia works by consensus. Repeatedly restoring your individual preferred version after it has been reverted is edit warring and will lead to you being blocked from editing Wikipedia.
Numerous reliable sources give definitions of martyr that include suffering and/or dying for religious or other causes.[2][3][4] Despite your strong belief to the contrary, I cannot see a firm enough dividing line separating two meanings. Creating two articles out of this would result in articles with substantial overlap.
As your edits have made substantial changes to the article which have been disputed by several editors, I am temporarily restoring the prior version. I strongly encourage you to discuss the individual pieces of it and establish a consensus before restoring all or part of this. Thanks. - SummerPhD (talk) 16:29, 1 August 2013 (UTC)


I'm going to work on this page for a school project. From research that I have conducted, it is apparent that Socrates could be considered a martyr. As such, I'm going to add a section about Socrates, as well as edit and expand the page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Omiller1495 (talkcontribs) 23:34, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Barlow, Hugh (2007). Dead for Good: Martyrdom and the Rise of the Suicide Bomber. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.