From The Living Church-
Ten years ago, I was ordained a deacon on June 3, the day the Church commemorates the Ugandan Martyrs, a group of Anglicans and Roman Catholics who were executed in the late 19th century for their faith. I asked the bishop if he would be willing to pray the collect for that day during my ordination. The dean of the cathedral strongly objected. She was disturbed by the collect’s proclamation, à la Tertullian, that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.” The bishop, however, agreed with me, and so a room full of well-dressed people squirmed a little in their seats as these words were read aloud.
Martyrdom is not usually among the first things we mention about Christianity to prospective converts. “Come and join us! If you do, there is a better than average chance you’ll be killed for it!” Of course, that is not always true, especially in America, where we can practice our Christianity quite comfortably, despite the protestations of some that we are all suffering mightily for not having store clerks wish us a Merry Christmas.