A congregation representing various denominations from around the world gathered July 9 at Westminster Abbey for the unveiling of ten limestone statues commemorating twentieth-century Christian martyrs. Queen Elizabeth, Anglican Archbishop George Carey, and relatives and colleagues of those honored attended.

The gleaming, nearly life-size figures included noted heroes such as Baptist civil-rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., of the United States, Catholic Bishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer of Germany, and Franciscan friar Maximilian Kolbe of Poland.

Canon Anthony Harvey, innovator of the project, says the selection process was complicated by the committee's desire to include every continent and a broad denominational representation.

"The cost of Christian witness, and the number of Christians willing to die for what they believed … has been greater in this century than in any previous period in the history of the church," Harvey says.

Others included are Saint Elizabeth, an Orthodox nun martyred during Russia's Bolshevik Revolution; Esther John, a Presbyterian evangelist in Pakistan; and Wang Zhiming, a pastor slain during China's Cultural Revolution.

Anglicans honored are Ugandan bishop Janani Luwum, killed during the rule of Idi Amin; Mange Masawala of South Africa, a teen murdered by her animist parents; and Lucian Tapiedi of Papua New Guinea, killed during the Japanese invasion in World War II. Tapiedi's murderer later converted to Christianity and became the rector of a church named in his honor.

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