person who suffers persecution and death for advocating, refusing to renounce, and/or refusing to advocate a belief or cause, usually a religious one

A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and later assassination or death for advocating or renouncing(to give up) or refusing to renounce(not giving up) or advocate, a religious belief or other cause as demanded by an external party.

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883).

Originally it was applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs but now the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political or nationalist cause as well.

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