Lying is considered a sin, and while all the people in Salem are Christians, or at least claim to be, some of them lie and say they believe in witches just to protect themselves. If a person, like John Proctor, were to say that they did not believe in witches, would be like saying that he did not believe in God, because, witches were in the bible, and if you did not believe in witches then you did not believe in the bible, which is the word of God, so subsequently, not believing in witches means not believing in God. It seems silly now today, that people people would say they believed in such nonsense, but they had to do it to protect themselves. If they did not say they believed in witches, then they would most likely be accused of witchcraft, which pretty much meant that they would be hung, which is a pretty good incentive to lie, even if it is considered a sin.
It is a hard decision, whether or not I would lie to protect myself. I think that I would, but it has stipulations. If I was just protecting myself against dirty looks, and being made fun of(been there, done that), then I would stand up for something I believed in. One example is that I feel more strongly about not using the "r-word" then any other cuss word combined, and I will correct people on it, which warrants some dirty looks from people, who do not get the big deal, but to me it is one. The "r-word" is so offensive to me, I personally do not think I have ever used it, unless I was correcting someone, and rarely even then.
On the flip side though, I might lie to protect myself from death like the people of Salem had to. In beginnings of the Christian religion in Rome, Christians were persecuted for their religion, and some would stand up and say that yes, they were a Christian. If they stood up and said that, then they would be killed. Now, I am a Christian, and I am not ashamed of that in any way, shape, or form. My religion is a big part of my life, but I do not know if I could stand up and say that I was a Christian if it meant I was going to be killed. I wish I could say I would, and that I would gladly do it, because in my beliefs Jesus died for me, so why can I not die for him? It is also a sin to deny your faith in front of your peers, so if I did, would it have a bad outcome for me in the end? The truth is, a dirty look and death are two very different ball games, and I would have to think long and hard about what I was standing up for if it meant that I would die, but I would stand up right away if all it meant was that I would get a dirty look.