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TIME Struggles With History

Christians burned at the stake for refusing to deny Christ is in no way the same as self-immolation to protest Israel.

03/11/24

John Stonestreet

Timothy D Padgett

A few days after an active-duty American airman lit himself on fire in protest of what he claimed was genocide by Israel in Gaza, TIME Magazine offered a lesson in the history and meaning of self-immolation, pointing to various times in history when protest-by-suicide was used to highlight injustices. Then the writers claimed,  

Self-immolation was also seen as a sacrificial act committed by Christian devotees who chose to be burned alive when they were being persecuted for their religion by Roman emperor Diocletian around 300 A.D. 

To suggest that the Christians burned at the stake by the Romans was an act of protest, or that they chose their own deaths in the same way as this U.S. soldier is sheer nonsense. They were set on fire for refusing to deny Christ. You don’t have to be into theology and history to know the difference, but we should expect TIME to choose writers who know a bit more about the subject. 

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