New Martyr

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The title of New Martyr or Neomartyr (Greek: νεο-, neo, the prefix for "new"; and μάρτυς, martys, "witness") of the Eastern Orthodox Church was originally given to martyrs who died under heretical rulers[citation needed] or non-Christian rulers in the post-medieval period (the original martyrs being under pagans, mostly during the Roman period). The Greek Orthodox Church traditionally gives the title of New Martyr to those who had been tortured and executed during Ottoman rule (turkocracy) in order to avoid forced conversion to Islam.[1][2] Later, various Christian churches added to the list those martyred under Islam and various modern regimes, especially Communist ones, which espoused state atheism. Officially, the era of the New Martyrs begins with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Among those commemorated are not only those who gave their lives in martyrdom, but also those who are accounted as confessors for the Orthodox Faith.

Some New Martyrs are anonymous or known with non-Christian names, as they died without being officially baptized. According to the Orthodox belief, they were baptized in their own blood when executed.

New Martyrs under Ottoman rule[edit]

The first new martyrs were recorded after the Seljuk invasion of Asia Minor (11th century).[3] In the Orthodox Church, the third Sunday after Pentecost is known as the "Commemoration of All New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke."[citation needed]

New Martyrs under Communist rule[edit]

In the Russian Orthodox Church, the Sunday closest to 25 January (7 February on the Gregorian Calendar) is the "Sunday of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia." The date of 25 January was chosen because that was the date in 1918 of the martyrdom of St. Vladimir (Bogoiavlensikii), Metropolitan of Kiev, who is referred to as the "Protomartyr of the communist yoke in Russia."

New Martyrs under Nazism[edit]

Serbian New Martyrs[edit]

The feast of "All New Martyrs of Serbia" is celebrated on 28 June [O.S. 15 June].

New Martyrs of the Boxer Rebellion[edit]

24 June  [O.S. 11 June] is celebrated as the feast of the "New Martyrs of China Slain During the Boxer Rebellion"

In Austria-Hungary[edit]

In post-Soviet Russia[edit]

As of 2016 the Russian Orthodox Church has not glorified either of the martyrs listed above, but each has received widespread popular veneration.

See also[edit]


  • Derived with permission from New Martyrs at OrthodoxWiki.
  • Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity, 341-43
  • Vaporis, Rev. Nomikos Michael. Witnesses for Christ: Orthodox Christian Neomartyrs of the Ottoman Period 1437-1860


  1. ^ Encyclopedia "Papyrus-Larousse, c. 1965, article "Νεομάρτυς", in Greek language.
  2. ^ "Threskeutika", Textbook of Religion, for the 3rd year of Greek high school ("Gymnasion"), chapter 30 (b), circa 2007. In Greek language.
  3. ^ Byzantinoslavica. Academia, Slovanský ústav v Praze. Byzantologická komise. 1996. p. 104.
  4. ^ "Ahmed the Calligrapher". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  5. ^ Saint Ahmed, Synaxaristes (Compedium) of Neomartyrs, editions "Orthodoxos Kypsele" (Orthodox Bee-hive)
  6. ^ "HIEROMARTYR MAXIMUS SANDOVICH". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Hieromonk Job Gumerov. Can One Consider the Death of Father Daniel Sysoev to be a Martyrdom? / OrthoChristian.Com". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Byzantine, Texas: Podcasts on New Martyr Fr. Daniel Sysoev". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  9. ^ John Sanidopoulos. "MYSTAGOGY". Retrieved 24 April 2015.

External links[edit]