The dictionary definition is a person who abandons his religion, party, cause, etc. In some countries it is punishable by death – can you imagine living in a country where not to believe in the national religion you would be put to death! Most people I know wouldn’t be here now. However today’s Apostate could be seen as tomorrows revolutionary.
Martin Luther, the founder of Lutheranism, was considered both an apostate and heretic by the strict definition of apostasy according to the Catholic Church. Most Protestants would naturally disagree, calling him a liberator and revolutionary.
That’s what I love about religion is freedom of thought!