Do any Christian traditions allow suicide for women at the point of being dishonored (raped) by rampaging armies or thugs during war or persecutions against Christians? This tough subject includes the case of a father and his family who kill themselves to avoid seeing the mother/wife and the daughters/sisters raped and dishonored before their eyes.

  • This question could be a better fit for this site if you specify a denomination or tradition whose teaching you seek. Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 10:02
  • 3
    Hi Tiany: I've updated this to say "any Christian traditions." That means that if some far-flung "Christian" denomination that has a few hundred members believes this, then that group would be an answer to your question. If, however, you are only interested in a particular denomination (like Roman Catholicism or Methodism for example), please specify that. Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 11:03
  • Why was my answer removed please?
    – JAGAnalyst
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 21:05
  • My answer answered the question at the time. When a question is edited, I can understand how my answer would not be accepted, but why should it be removed?
    – JAGAnalyst
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 21:07
  • @JAGAnalyst Because answers that don't answer the current question are invalid, even if they were valid at one time. You could always ask a new question for which your answer applies if you want. (Although, the question was edited for a reason - to make it on-topic. So, if your question answered an off-topic question, then it would be ill-advised to re-ask it.)
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 1:15

1 Answer 1


Let Case 1 = the suicide for women at the point of being raped and Case 2 = the suicide of a father and his family to avoid seeing the mother/wife and the daughters/sisters raped and dishonored before their eyes

The two situations are not the same. In case 1, the woman has an extra case of conscience of commiting fornication and cooperating to the sin of the rapist. To what Saint Thomas Aquinas clearly replies (Summa Theologiae, II-II, Question 64, art.5) :

Again it is unlawful for a woman to kill herself lest she be violated, because she ought not to commit on herself the very great sin of suicide, to avoid the lesser sin of another. For she commits no sin in being violated by force, provided she does not consent, since "without consent of the mind there is no stain on the body," as the Blessed Lucy declared. Now it is evident that fornication and adultery are less grievous sins than taking a man's, especially one's own, life: since the latter is most grievous, because one injures oneself, to whom one owes the greatest love. Moreover it is most dangerous since no time is left wherein to expiate it by repentance. Again it is not lawful for anyone to take his own life for fear he should consent to sin, because "evil must not be done that good may come" (Romans 3:8) or that evil may be avoided especially if the evil be of small account and an uncertain event, for it is uncertain whether one will at some future time consent to a sin, since God is able to deliver man from sin under any temptation whatever.

Reply to Objection 4. As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i, 21), "not even Samson is to be excused that he crushed himself together with his enemies under the ruins of the house, except the Holy Ghost, Who had wrought many wonders through him, had secretly commanded him to do this." He assigns the same reason in the case of certain holy women, who at the time of persecution took their own lives, and who are commemorated by the Church.

A fortiori, case 2 is sinful. Christians must be aware that they may be persecuted, and there is not only one way of being persecuted. Suicide is never the solution : "You shall not kill" (Ex 20:13; Cf. Deut 5:17). The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions what follows:

2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being"

... including himself.

Note : this is a rather a long comment that explains the point of view of the Catholic Church, as long as you will be looking for a denomination which allow suicide in both cases.

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