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During the New Testament times,  'Stephen', was the first amongst the martyrs, for spreading gospel boldly, about the Lord's kingdom. He was killed by the stones throwing fanatic group of Jews, who kept their clothes at the feet of  a  youngster called  'Saul' (who is later to become the famous Paul, who preached the gospel to Gentiles!) kept, as witness.

There are many modern day martyrs, which we cannot forget as long as we live .... like

Mr. Graham Steins and his two young boys - who were burnt alive in their Jeep, while doing their Leprosy Mission Works in Orissa.
(p.s. :  His Loving Wife and Daughter are still living with us in India, continuing to serve the Lord with all their hearts and souls

Also, since the olden days, there have been more Martyrs beginning from the days of Kings like Herod, Nero, et al  of the powerful Roman empire, who continuosly prosecuted the Lord's Disciples and the followers alike. Numbers cannot be kept. Few of them were burnt alive in stakes, and many of them were thrown down to the wild beasts, in the Arenas. Few of them were cruelly murdered and butchered like animals, for the name of christ. Even, those who were found with 'Bible' were prosecuted and sentenced to Death.
Disciple of Lord - Jacob, brother of Peter was  killed by sword and Peter was crucified upside down on the cross.
Barthemalew was killed
John, the beloved was banished to 'Patmos' Islands.