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I've been watching the show Vikings on the History Channel and on the latest episode Christians capture an alleged apostate. As punishment they decide to crucify him.

Of course this is just a show but it got me wondering, did any Christians anywhere at any time ever use crucifixion as means of punishment?

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I cannot find any record of crucifixion used as a punishment by Christians following it's banning by Constantine I. To my lay mind it would seem potentially blasphemous to use Christ's punishment on pagans, further decreasing the likelihood of it being inflicted in such circumstances. –  Pieter Geerkens Mar 23 '14 at 15:39
FWIW, I think Athelstan's crucifixion in Vikings is a dream/hallucination. It's so obviously a reenact of the crucifixion, including a crown of thorns and a crowd yelling "Crucify him!" –  Alex P Mar 23 '14 at 19:03
@AlexP what makes you think it was a dream? Especially when King Egbert comes and orders him to be spared and taken to him for talks. I agree that it so obviously reenacted the crucifixion that I felt disappointed that the show, which was more or less authentic until that point, did it. –  Juicy Mar 23 '14 at 19:27
In the Philippines, some Catholics are voluntarily, non-lethally crucified for a limited time on Good Friday to imitate the suffering of Jesus Christ.[en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion#As_a_devotional_practice] –  S Vilcans Jun 10 '14 at 8:20

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you consider Nazis to be "Christians," it is reported crucifixion was occasionally approbated for Jewish prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp during the Holocaust. The motive for this war crime has strong religious undertones.

Or perhaps, crucifixion could be meant to include any form of public execution by live hanging. Then yes, because some Christians used impalement.

Otherwise, the answer appears to be "no."

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No. The two big users of crucifixion were the pre-Imperial Romans and the Japanese, neither of whom were Christians. Note that by Christian times crucifixion was largely a historical punishment in the Roman empire and was more an ugly memory than an everyday reality.

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The statement that X and Y used crucifixion doesn't answer whether Christians used crucifixion. It is difficult to prove a negative, but I think that @RazieMah has provided several examples of Christians using crucifixion. –  Mark C. Wallace Jun 3 '14 at 16:25

Absolutely not. Christians have historically seen martyrdom by crucifixion to be an honor reserved for a select few Apostles. So they would never use it as a punishment. Also, to commit the act of crucifixion would make the perpetrator like the executors of Christ, which would be bad PR. plus, there is absolutely no historical record of Christians ever using that form of execution. The portrayal of a bishop ordering an Apostate to be crucified in the Vikings series is an absurd calumny which only the liberals in the entertainment industry would commit. In their attempt to make the Christians look like demented hypocrites, they only betray their own prejudices and some hypocrisy of their own since they are purportedly trying to make a historical drama (with dramatic embellishments where there are gaps in the facts) not a complete fabrication to fit their worldview. (Just because you WANT it to be true, doesn't make it so guys!)

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I respect that this is your opinion, but I don't see any historical research or methodology used in reaching that opinion. Answers on H:SE should be based on historical sources and methods, not rhetoric. I have to give more credence to @RazieMah's answer because he cites others research, including first person testimony of a crucifixion. –  Mark C. Wallace Jun 1 '14 at 10:11

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