In 1563, John Foxe began writing a book in tribute to Christian martyrs, beginning with Stephen, the first believer who died for the cause of Christ. Foxe’s original work ended with the martyrs of his own day — those who were killed during the reign of “Bloody Mary.” He wanted the Church to remember the martyrs, for he knew that the blood of the martyrs truly is the seed of the Church.
Martyrdom is not a thing of the past. The Christian Church continues to endure great persecution in many places around the world. In fact, more Christians were affected by persecution, including martyrdom, during the twentieth century than in all previous centuries combined. Listen to the cries of the martyrs, and let their faith, courage, and love touch your life.