Revelation 6: Persecution and ‘the Blood of the Martyrs’

During the early years of Christian martyrdom, Christians fled by the thousands into underground caverns outside of Rome. There were nearly 600 miles of molelike tunnels and passageways where they hid.

At least 10 generations of Christians were buried in the catacombs during approximately 300 years of persecution. The number of believers interred in the tunnels is unknown, but some archaeologists have estimated it to be between 1,750,000 and 4,000,000.

Inscriptions of Holy Scripture are still visible on the catacomb walls. Perhaps the most frequent one is the sign of the fish. A particular inscription, however, summarizes what kept them from losing or abandoning their faith. It reads, “The Word of God is not bound.”

Every believer in Christ is deeply indebted to the faithful witness of these Christ followers. As Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” . . .

According to the 2022 World Watch List (WWL) published by Open Doors International, which has supported persecuted Christians worldwide for over 60 years, nearly 360 million Christians, 1 in 7 globally, suffered discrimination and persecution for their Christian faith. As many as 5,898 were murdered for their profession of Christ — up more than 23% from 2020. More than 5,000 churches were attacked or forced to shut their doors — an increase of 13% during the same period. Moreover, as many as 6,000 Christians were arrested without trial – up by 44% — and 4,000 Christians were kidnapped — up by nearly 124%. (Read more from “Revelation 6: Persecution and ‘the Blood of the Martyrs’” HERE)

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