Very few Christians who have been martyred were told - "Deny Christ or die."
The vast majority of persecutions had and have to do with some point of obedience. The matter is about authority - and about rule. The design of the state is to persecute and eliminate Christianity, or subjugate it, or dull, deaden, and defile the form of Christianity in their midst. This is what has happened in America and throughout the West.
The state makes laws or policies that impugn the law or Word of God. The Christian is brought into confrontation and conflict with the state because of this point of obedience - whatever the situation may be. He refuses to join in the state's rebellion against Christ. He is obedient to the Lord.
This results in suffering, persecution, and martyrdom.
Lawrence the Deacon exemplified this in the 3rd century. 23 min. MercySeat.net DefyTyrants.com
"Defy Tyrants" YouTube channel and GAB channel.