In July 1998, ten statues of martyrs of the twentieth century were unveiled surmounting the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey. Ten figures were identified from different continents and different churches: victims of Nazi and Bolshevik oppression, state-sponsored violence, and religious hatred, these images stand as a testimony to the bloodshed of the twentieth century. Some, such as Oscar Romero and Martin Luther King, are famed across the world. Others are less known.
The Noble Army offers reflections on each of these ten lives and explores the questions surrounding their choices, and tells us the stories behind them.
These statues were intended to represent those millions of individuals who suffered for their faith in Christ in the twentieth century. These reflections culminate in a chapter on the contemporary reality of Christian marginalisation and persecution, written by Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq.
JAMES HAWKEY is canon theologian of Westminster Abbey, and a visiting professor in theology at King’s College London.
CONTRIBUTORS: Anthony Ball, Tricia Hillas, David Hoyle, David Stanton, Bashar Warda.