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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Is it sinful to deny Christ under threat of death?

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.

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