Christian martyrs

A christian who was killed because he believed in Jesus Christ is a martyr. The first disciples of Jesus Christ were persecuted. One of them who persecuted the Christians was Saul of Tarsus. Later Saul met the resurrected Jesus Christ in a great light from heaven. He then lost his sight for some time before it was restored by Ananias of Damascus. He then believed that Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah and son of God. Saul from then on converted and took the name Paul. When the wars against the Christian Byzantine Empire began also persecution of Christians began. In the year 636 the Christian Byzantine Empire lost control over areas in modern day Lebanon and Syria to the Muslim Rashidun caliphate. Just 38 years later, starting in the year 674, the Muslim Ummayad Caliphate had their forces in Anatolia and were besieging Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. During the period of 678 to 1065 the Christian nations had many wars and conflicts and most of them were with Christians against Christians. The Muslim Seljuk Turks attacked the Byzantine Empire in 1065 and advanced westward all the way past Nicea. In 1095 the Christian Roman Catholic pope Urban II decided for a pilgrimage eastwards to retake Jerusalem and the east from the Muslims. This is called the First Crusade and the city of Antioch was taken. In the year 1099 Jerusalem was taken by the crusaders and they established control over the area there. The Second Crusade retook all of Cilicia with a victory over the Muslim Pechengs. The Second Crusade also ended at Antioch in the year 1142. The Christians moved east and were defeated by the Muslim Turks at the battle of Myriokephalon in 1176. The western coast of Anatolia was still in control of the Christians. There the Muslim Turks were defeated in the Battle of Hyelion and Leimocheir in the year 1177. The crusaders were in Jerusalem later and held that important city for a time. Pilgrims from Europe were safer to visit Jerusalem when there were Christian forces there. Earlier some pilgrims from Northern Europe were killed when there were no Christian soldiers protecting them. The Muslim Ottoman Empire attacked Europe during the following centuries and in the 17th century they were as far north as Austria and Crimea in the east. They controlled the taken territories and the Christians living under the Ottoman rule were in some cases persecuted and abused. The Ottoman Turks were attacking the city Vienna (now in the country Austria) in 1683 but they were stopped by European forces led by the polish king Jan Sobieski III outside the city of Vienna. The conflict between European countries and the Ottoman Empire ended with a defeat for the Ottoman empire. During the 19th century the Muslim Ottoman empire started to lose territory in Europe. During 1894 to 1915 the Muslim Turks in Anatolia killed over 1.5 million Christians living there. The events during those years are called the Armenian Genocide. The revolution in Christian Russia in 1917, controlled by the communists, started much persecution of Christianity in Russia and Europe during the 20th century. The communists were atheist and anti religious. In Germany the Nazi party gained power in the 1930s and the dictature killed catholic priests in Poland during World war 2. In 1991 the Soviet Union dissolved and Christianity started to be allowed again in Russia and the other countries that had been Soviet satellite states. Now during the 21st century, Muslim extremists have persecuted Christians. In many countries Christians but also westerners, have been killed. There have been many victims in attacks perpetrated in USA, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and in Africa.

Paul the Apostle

Pauls conversion

Byzantine Empire

Ottoman Empire

War of the Holy League

Armenian Genocide

February revolution

Persecution of Christianity