Let’s be honest.
We aren’t in any danger of having to stand before a Roman official and be told to worship the emperor with some incense and words of loyalty on pain of death. Obviously. But let’s also acknowledge that there are still places in the world today where Christians are persecuted and killed for their faith. The International Institute for Religious Freedom estimates that about 3,000 to 5,000 Christians are killed for their faith every year, sometimes more.
When it comes to significant persecution, around 360 million Christians each year suffer for their faith, which is one in seven believers. In addition, approximately 16 believers are killed daily. The Center for Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) puts the number much higher between the years 2000 and 2010 because of the civil war in the Congo which had strong religious violence at its core. They estimate that ten percent of the deaths are directly due to religious persecution. With those numbers included, the average number of martyrs during those ten years was closer to 100,000 believers killed each year.