July 30 was the day of commemoration for Robert Barnes, the English Lutheran who was martyred for his faith. I had always assumed that he was killed by Roman Catholic inquisitors, but he wasn’t. He was burned at the stake by Henry VIII, years after the king had broken from Rome! (When he burned Barnes for not believing in transubstantiation and for believing that Communion should be given to the laity in both kinds, he also executed three Catholics for not believing that Henry was the rightful head of the English church.)
Better known is William Tyndale who was strangled and burned for translating the Bible into English. I had assumed that this too was the work of Roman Catholics fighting the Reformation. But no, Tyndale’s execution was also the work of the protestant Henry VIII!
Nearly 500 years later, last Saturday, 8 Christians in Pakistan were martyred for their faith.