|Definition of "Martyr"|
- Monday, June 25 2007, 20:04:52 (CEST)|
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...this is Merriam Webster....I`ll try to get the OED defintion too.
Main Entry: 1mar·tyr
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek martyr-, martys witness
1 : a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion
...other definitions use the word "choice" or "chooses"...but "voluntarily" covers the same ground. In other words you choose...of your on "volition", to persist in your beliefs and therefore suffer death...you are not merely killed FOR holding those beliefs.
2 : a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle
...again, to "sacrifice" is a voluntary act...you choose to make the sacrfice. You could just as easily choose NOT to sacrifice...if someone rushes in and kills you, you have no choice, no time and really no recantation is sought...just your murder is the entire point.
3 : VICTIM; especially : a great or constant sufferer <a martyr to asthma all his life -- A. J. Cronin>
...this is the closest to what modern Assyrians are...VICTIMS, though they try to enoble it by passing it off as martyrdom..as if they CHOSE to suffer for their beliefs.
- mar·tyr·i·za·tion /"mär-t&-r&-'zA-sh&n/ noun
- mar·tyr·ize /'mär-t&-"rIz/ transitive verb
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