• Timeline

    But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  – 2 Timothy 3:1

    Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Christian_Martyrs'_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113 “The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer”   –   Jean-Leon Gerome (ca. 1863-1873)

    Click here to read this page in a downloaded and printable PDF format


    Judea: Persecution by Saul [aka Paul]

    Judea: Persecution by Herod Agrippa I

    Judea: Persecution by Annas II

    66 – 68
    Rome: Persecution by Nero

    ca. 95
    Rome: Persecution under Domitian

    ca. 107
    Roman Empire: Persecution under Trajan

    132 – 136
    Roman Empire: Persecution by Jews for refusing to join with them in the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome

    165 – 177
    Roman Empire: Persecution under Marcus Aurelius

    202 – 211
    Roman Empire: Persecution under Septimius Severus

    Roman Empire: Persecution under Maximinus I

    Roman Empire: Persecution by Decius

    257 – 260
    Roman Empire: Persecution by Valerian

    303 – 311
    Roman Empire: Persecution by Diocletian and Galerius, 10,000 – 100,000 killed

    Persian Empire: 1,150 Christians executed

    361 – 363
    Roman Empire: Persecution by Julian the Apostate

    Crimea: Goths kill 308 Christians

    Yemen: The Jewish warlord Dhu Nuwas claimed to have killed 22,000 Christians

    622 – 750
    Middle East, North Africa, Spain: Islamic conquest

    Ethiopia: Queen Gudit persecuted the Church

    China: Leaders of the Church of the East arrested

    1338 – 1368
    China: Final suppression of the Church of the East

    1370 – 1405
    Asia and the Middle East: Destruction of the Church of the East in Central Asia by Timur, aka Tamerlane. Up to 17 million people of all faiths died. This was likely the largest persecution of Christians by non-Christians prior to the 20th century – the exact number of affected Christians is unknown due to the extent of the destruction, but given Timur’s hatred of Christianity it was surely a high percentage of the total causalities

    Byzantine Empire: Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.  Thousands of Christians were killed and 30,000 deported or sold into slavery

    Greece: Fall of Negroponte to the Ottomans, 6,000 Christians killed or enslaved

    1570 – 1573
    Cyprus: Invasion by the Ottomans, at least 56,000 Christians killed or enslaved
    Lepanto, Ionian Sea: The Ottoman navy was defeated and 12,000 Christian galley slaves were freed, at the cost of 7,500 Christian dead

    1587 – 1639
    Japan: Christianity was outlawed and 37,000 Christians and sympathizers were killed in the Shimabara Rebellion

    Austria: Siege and Battle of Vienna claimed over 16,000 Christians but the Ottoman forces were defeated

    Serbia: Ottoman atrocities caused 37,000 Christian families to flee to Austria

    1700 – 1900
    Vietnam: More than 20,300 Christians were killed

    1780 – 1784
    India: Tipu Sultan killed nearly 26,000 Christians and forced 30,000 to convert to Islam including some British officers

    1789 – 1799
    France: Revolution and the Vendean Revolt claimed 177,000 – 450,000 Christian lives

    1791 – 1873
    Korea: Over 10,000 Christians were killed in four major persecutions

    1821 – 1832
    Greece: Up to 130,000 Christians died in the war for independence from the Ottomans

    1831 – 1861
    Madagascar: Thousands of actual and suspected Christians died in ritual poisoning ordeals

    1843 – 1909
    Ottoman Empire: Over 380,000 Armenian, Assyrian, and Bulgarian Christians were killed in several waves of persecution

    1869 – 1873
    Japan: 3,600 Kakure Kirishitan [‘Hidden Christians’] from Nagasaki were sent into internal exile, 650 died

    China: Almost 33,000 Christians were killed in the Boxer Rebellion

    1912 – present
    Across the entire globe: At least 35 million Christians were killed and many more suffered in the greatest cumulative persecution in history

    Note: This timeline does not include the numerous cases of persecution of Christians by Christians, each of which was a denial of the prayer of Jesus that his followers be one [cf John 17:11], and many of which were exploited by non-Christians who desired to injure and wound His Church.  It is a fact that much Christian suffering has ultimately been due to a lack of Christian unity in the face of persecution.