Ask a soldier how living in The World is different than living out in barbarian country. Heck growing up around soldiers shaped many of my views today. Few people in the West know how good they have it.
Right. But I think that they were beheading them in the name of their religion. Obviously it was done as a sort of power play. The Christians didn't want to renounce their faith, so they were killed. It's religion and power...two things that can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.
Religion is just an excuse. An excuse that pretty much perverts the whole reason of having religion in the first place. Religion gives us aid and comfort at our lowest times, it shouldn't be used as a weapon to inspire fear and terror.
I suppose there are still places in the world where it's possible to be a "witness to the faith", a martyr.
It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that it's not something by itself that makes a thing good or evil, but the actions of the individual. Religion, government, philosophy, etc. all can be used for good or they can lead us into great evil.