My question stemmed from this wiki article under the heading "Views and Marches" where I was bit puzzled on the definition of innocent people as given by this personality in UK.

How does Christianity define the innocence of people? Or who according to Bible can be termed as innocent people on this earth? Is there any broad measure by which we can say that so and so people are innocent?


A word search for Innocent reveals many examples to help us with a definition. The Bible clearly tells us that we are sinners worthy of condemnation (Romans 3:19-23), so innocence as used in the Bible is relative to one's actions in the society, just as it is in normal usage.

The innocent obey the laws and are fair to their neighbors, so when they are preyed upon by the unscrupulous, they are identified as "innocent" because they themselves did not initiate the evil brought upon them:

Deuteronomy 27:25 - Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Also, it seems that they are innocent because the evil done against them violated the Lord's will, and the violence upon them was unjustified by the perpetrators:

2 Kings 21:16 - Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Exodus 23:7 - Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

The innocent also have a strong moral sense, and take action against the wrong, as we see in this parallelism with "upright" and "innocent":

Job 17:8 - Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.

  • So without contradicting the teachings of Bible, we can safely say that for labelling as innocent, there can be no precondition that they have accept Jesus as saviour or that they have to have faith in God. Could this be a valid assumption? May 26 '13 at 15:23
  • None of the contexts I've read that uses the word is used in the sense of people of faith or non-faith, but as victims. However, I would hesitate to use your assumption in a blanket way over every use of the word in the Bible, for the upright innocent are sometimes those who stand by faith on God's righteous principles.
    – Steve
    May 26 '13 at 23:20

Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

1Ti 5:5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

Gal 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Mat 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

In addition to those who are not pronounced as having criminal guilt by the Bible there are a group of people who are socially innocent as well. The widow, orphan and poor, in Bible days as well as today the disabled are by default poor more so then than now, are all a special class of persons innocent from their ability to contribute in normal ways from society. In addition to preaching the gospel the church is supposed to support widows who are widows indeed the poor which cannot work or work without much gain and the orphans are socially innocent.

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