Altruistic Suicide or Altruistic Martyrdom?
Christian Greek orthodox Neomartyrs: A Case Study
[From Archives of Suicide Research, Volume 8, No 1, 2004].
Α few more observations. Α church, which was able to produce men and women with a living faith and a commitment to spiritual values and principles could not have been a moribund church, or a church involved only in ritual and concerned with barren tradition, as the Orthodox Church has been portrayed by Western Christendom in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was not solely an ecumenical brotherly gesture by the President of the Society of the Bolandists when he wrote: "The neomartyrs are the purest glory of the Greek Church, and before these generous witnesses to the faith which we hold in common every Christian should bow" (Delahaye, 1921, p. 712).
If it is true that the blood of the early Christian martyrs, under Roman persecution, became the seed of Christianity, as Tertullian remarked in second century, (Tertullian, 1931, 50), the blood of the neo-martyrs was not shed in vain, for it inspired and nourished Greek Orthodox Christianity under Turkish persecution.