Christianity

Execution of Mariana de Carabajal (converted Jew), accused of a relapse into Judaism, Mexico City, 1601

Views on the death penalty in Christianity run a spectrum of opinions, from complete condemnation of the punishment, seeing it as a form of revenge and as contrary to Christ's message of forgiveness, to enthusiastic support based primarily on Old Testament law.

Among the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew, the message to his followers that one should "Turn the other cheek" and his example in the storyPericope Adulterae, in which Jesus intervenes in the stoning of an Christianity adulteress, are generally accepted as his condemnation of physical retaliation (though most scholars[159][160] agree that the latter passage was "certainly not part of the original text of St John's Gospel"[161]) More militant Christians consider Romans13:3–4 to support the death penalty. Many Christians have believed that Jesus' doctrine of peace speaks only to personal ethics and is distinct from civil government's duty to punish crime.

In the Old Testament, Leviticus Leviticus 20:2–27 provides a list of transgressions in which execution is recommended. Christian positions on these passages vary.[162] The sixthcommandment (fifth in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches Christianity) is translated as "Thou shalt not kill" by some denominations and as "Thou shalt not murder" by others. As some denominations do not have a hard-line stance on the subject, Christians of such denominations are free to make a personal decision.[163]

Eastern Orthodox Christianity does not officially condemn or endorse capital punishment. It states that it is not a totally objectionable thing, but also that its abolishment can be driven by genuine Christian values, especially stressing the need for mercy.[164]

The Rosicrucian Fellowship and many other Christian esoteric schools condemn capital punishment in all circumstances.[165][166]


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