If we look at all of the horrible religious back and forth in England and Europe before and after the upheaval of the Reformation, we can find plenty of martyrs. Many people used the sword rather than the Faith to win the hearts and minds of others.
There is always change for change's sake and resistance to any change. When we flip toward the human and away from the divine then we only ask for trouble. When we think of religion before we think of God, politics before we think of morality, sex before love, any human thought or action before God's then we have created clay idols of human construct.
John bears the distinction of being the only official Scotsman martyr. Born a Calvinist, he was convicted for his insistence on the primacy of the Pope in spiritual matters, a position from which, even after torture, trials, and conviction, he never wavered. Before his hanging (he was the child of nobility and therefore not drawn and quartered as well) he remain openly defiant saying: “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.”
John strove to serve the "hidden Catholics" of his native land and while he may have made no friends with statements like that, his last actions did inspire some to re-look deeper at the mysteries of the Church.
Let us remember to put God first and personal feeling aside as we strive to serve all humanity and especially God's children.
Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name give glory because of your mercy and faithfulness.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths but do not speak, eyes but do not see. They have ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell. They have hands but do not feel, feet but do not walk; they produce no sound from their throats. Their makers will be like them, and anyone who trusts in them. The house of Israel trusts in the LORD, who is their help and shield.
-- Psalm 115:1, 4-9