Some four centuries ago, thousands of Christians died because they dared to refuse to join the state church in medieval Europe. Their reading of the Holy Bible and their consciences led them to believe that church membership should be a voluntary, adult decision.
These believers died public, tortured deaths as martyrs. Many modern-day Christians claim these persons of courage as their spiritual ancestors. Many of those scenes were etched on copper plates by Jan Luyken, A Dutch artist who worked in the late 1600s. Numerous of these copper plates still exist. Mirror of the Martyrs reproduces 30 of these etchings and tells the courageous stories of these people of faith.
Stories of courage, inspiringly retold, of sixteenth-century
Anabaptists who gave their lives for their faith.
Offered is a series
of short tales about martyrs. The intention is to give a more
composite picture of martyrdom--touching upon its many aspects and its
much variety--than only a few stories could sustain. Each story,
therefore, was selected for some singular, often unique, element in
order to show the variety that was the sociopolitical reality for the
victims of sixteenth-century religious discrimination. More complete
details for each martyr are usually found in the Martyrs
Mirror itself, or more frequently, in the Mennonite Encyclopedia. The authors have
chosen source material not used by either van Braght or writers in the