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I have been reading the Foxes Book of Martyrs. What a moving and fantastic book it is, how convicting and raw. It is incredible to read about the suffering of the early church under the Roman Empire. There were persecutions under various emperors whereby Christians were the focus of immense hate and torture. They were viewed as enemies to the empire. You have to check your soul and wonder if you would be able to withstand such pain with such bravery in Christ, especially in the face of such darkness and hate.

What is even more disturbing, even more sickening, is the corruption and persecutions by the Roman Catholic Church through the ages. At least when pagans were persecuting Christians, they didn’t claim to be doing it in the name of Christ. It is sad how for so long so many people were kept from the Scripture. The result was the dumbing of the masses and the hoarding of power by the few. They could make the Bible say whatever they wanted it to because no one could challenge them. Then, when God’s word began to surface once more, they tried everything under the sun and every evil torture the mind could conceive to keep the truth of Christ from coming to light. They were enemies of grace. How difficult it would be to be martyred by those who claim Christ.

How sad it all is. But, at the same time, what a witness to our Lord have those marytrs been.

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