The long list of martyrs
Martyrs by definition are those who have been persecuted or lost their lives because of their religious beliefs. It is better to say those who have been persecuted or lost their lives due to their spiritual beliefs. Spirituality and religiosity are not one and the same thing. Please read the article: “Religious or Spiritual” for more clarification.
This death or persecution often occurs because some people have chosen to live their lives in a particular way not welcome or accepted by those in authority at the time. These spiritual ones have often been persecuted, tortured and finally death comes as a release from these tortures.
Why is this the case, however? Why is it that human beings could not be left alone to practice their spirituality in whatever way they see fit?
Why has it been that every Truth Bringer or Seeker has had to face persecution and death in the hands of those in authority right from the great olden days prophets, through John the Baptist and even Jesus Christ Himself?
The established cults have always resisted with violence any teaching that sounded different from what they had hitherto taught, especially when the bearer is not one of their own and as such not from their schools or circle. The status quo suited them and as such they have never shrunk from any means to preserve their authority, not even murder.
Every single Truth Bringer had always brought a teaching radically different from what was prevailing so much so that one must draw the conclusion that all the teachings of the established cults were nothing but man-made. The laws and teachings were written by men in order to subjugate their fellow human beings and keep them under a firmly established rigid doctrine whereby they would be more easily controlled. Earthly influence, riches and power was the ultimate aim of these religious teachers.
If, therefore, someone came with a different teaching that threatens to undermine what they had built up, it is then inevitable that they would use all the means in their power to prevent the new teaching from taking root. This proves that they were only serving themselves and have never served God though they have always pretended to be His servants. The fact that God had always seen it fit to send other people outside of the established religion gives testimony to this fact. The fact that God sees them not as His servants. There are not too many examples in history where God had chosen His true prophets from the established religion of the day.
So then we have two parallel teachings: that which comes from God through His true prophets who have always been independently called into their service and that of the established religion of the day. Since the established religion of the day have earthly power and influence and also all the laws of the land more or less support them, it is then not difficult to imagine that these leaders of the established religion would use this earthly power that is theirs to oppose the true prophets. It is simply a question of eliminating the threat to their positions.
Hence then the reason for the long list of martyrs because it is either these true prophets are exiled or killed to eliminate the threat that they pose. It is important to realise that this is still the case today. If someone came to establish a doctrine that sounds radically different from what is generally believed, one can be certain that he will be persecuted with the same degree of malice as was the case centuries ago. He will be slandered and abused and so on. The reason for this is that the aims for which established religions fight for are still the same as they have always been. Earthly influence, power and riches. It has never really been about God and His true Glory.
This is sad but no other conclusion can be drawn and it is hoped that the individual will be able to examine all spiritual matters himself, independently. This is so critical to everything of spiritual value and must not be evaded.