Is it sinful to deny Christ under threat of death?


Full Question

If someone is told to deny Christ or acknowledge another religion or god under the threat of death, is it sinful to give in out of fear? I know modern culture doesn't demand this kind of heroic virtue, but in Revelation 2:10, Jesus says, “Be faithful unto death.”

Answer

Such a scenario is currently quite likely. Just recently some Fox News employees in the Middle East were coerced into accepting Islam. To accept an ideology contrary to one’s own under duress renders such an acceptance null by most civilized societies. Nevertheless, we are called to never betray our loyalty to Christ and his Church even under pain of torture and/or death. But only God knows how morally culpable one is who does break under such duress.


Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P.