Christians in the military

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Christians have been present in the military since at least the 2nd century.[1][2] Marinus of Caesarea, Julius the Veteran, and other military saints were Christians who were soldiers, although other Christians, such as St Maximilian, were conscientious objectors, believing that the Bible supported Christian pacifism.

Under the Emperor Diocletian, attempts were made to purge Christians from the army. However, the Roman army continued to include many Christians, and the presence of large numbers of Christians in his army may have been a factor in the conversion of Constantine I to Christianity.[3]

The presence of Christians on both sides led to the unofficial Christmas truces of World War I, commemorated in the film Joyeux Noël.

Today, military chaplains minister to Christians serving in the military forces of many countries, and organisations such as the Armed Forces Christian Union (UK) and Officers' Christian Fellowship (US) are made up of Christians in the military.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ J. Daryl Charles, Between Pacifism and Jihad: Just war and Christian tradition, InterVarsity Press, 2005, ISBN 0-8308-2772-2, p. 35.
  2. ^ Gregory M. Reichberg, Henrik Syse, and Endre Begby, The Ethics of War: Classic and contemporary readings, Wiley-Blackwell, 2006, ISBN 1-4051-2377-X, p 62.
  3. ^ John Helgeland, Christians and the Roman Army from Marcus Aurelius to Constantine, in Hildegard Temporini and Wolfgang Haase, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung, Walter de Gruyter, 1979, ISBN 3-11-007822-8, pp. 724 ff.