Franz Jagerstatter, a Catholic layman and father of three--one of the only Austrians to refuse to serve in Hitler's army and was executed for it--was declared "martyr" by the Catholic Church. He will be beatified in October! Check out the book on Franz' life: "In Solitary Witness" by Gordan Zahn.
He faced opposition from EVERYONE, including family, church, etc., that told him to just join the army like everyone else. They told him he was being selfish to follow his conscience (because of the possible reprisals against his family). Sure, he could have killed his conscience and gone with the flow. But now his grandkids get to say: "Franz Jagerstatter was my grandfather."
Check out www.catholicpeacefellowship.org, a group of Iraq war vets who are pressing for wider allowances for conscientious objection under U.S. law.
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