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Place of worship

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Title: Place of worship  
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Subject: Sacred architecture, Minoru Yamasaki, Temple, Shinto shrine, St. James's Cathedral, Riga
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Place of worship

The Great Mosque of Kairouan, also called the Mosque of Uqba, in Tunisia, was built in 670 and is the oldest and most prestigious Islamic place of worship in North Africa.[1]
The Parthenon in Athens, Greece, was built for the goddess Athena in 447–432 BC and remained devoted to her cult for nearly a thousand years, later serving as a Christian church and then as an Islamic mosque under the Ottoman Empire.

A place of worship is a specially designed structure or consecrated space where individuals or a group of people such as a congregation come to perform acts of devotion, veneration, or religious study. A building constructed or used for this purpose is sometimes called a house of worship. Temples, churches, and mosques are examples of structures created for worship. A monastery, particularly for Buddhists, may serve both to house those belonging to religious orders and as a place of worship for visitors. Natural or topographical features may also serve as places of worship, and are considered holy or sacrosanct in some religions; the rituals associated with the Ganges river are an example in Hinduism.

Under International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions, religious buildings are offered special protection, similar to the protection guaranteed hospitals displaying the Red Cross or Red Crescent. These international laws of war bar firing upon or from a religious building.

Religious architecture expresses the religious beliefs, aesthetic choices, and economic and technological capacity of those who create or adapt it, and thus places of worship show great variety depending on time and place.


  • Bahá'í Faith 1
  • Buddhism 2
  • Christianity 3
  • Classical antiquity 4
    • Ancient Greece 4.1
    • Ancient Rome 4.2
  • Hinduism 5
  • Islam 6
  • Jainism 7
  • Judaism 8
  • Norse Paganism 9
  • Shinto 10
  • Sikhism 11
  • Taoism 12
  • Zoroastrianism 13
  • Vietnamese ancestral worship 14
  • See also 15
  • References 16
  • Further reading 17

Bahá'í Faith

The Baha'i Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India
  • Bahá'í House of Worship or Mashriqu'l-Adhkár (Arabic: مشرق اﻻذكار‎, "Dawning-place of the remembrances of God") is a place of worship or temple for the Bahá'í Faith. Eight continental Houses of Worship have been built around the world. The Houses of Worship are open to people of all faiths. They are distinct from local Bahá'í centers, where local Bahá'í communities gather for worship and festivals.


Wat Mahathat, Luang Prabang, Laos


The word church derives from the Greek ekklesia, meaning the called-out ones. Its original meaning is to refer to the body of believers, or the body of Christ.[2] The word church is used to refer to a Christian place of worship by some Christian denominations, including Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Other Christian denominations, including the Religious Society of Friends, Mennonites, Christadelphians, and some unitarians, object to the use of the word "church" to refer to a building, as they argue that this word should be reserved for the body of believers who worship there.[3] Instead, these groups use words such as "Hall" to identify their places of worship or any building in use by them for the purpose of assembly.

Roman Catholic church in Stupava (Slovakia)

Classical antiquity

The Temple of Hercules Victor, a Greek-style temple in the Forum Boarium in Rome

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome


Hindu mass prayer in Ganges river.




A man prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
Sikh pilgrim at the Golden Temple of India
  • SynagogueJudaism
    • Some synagogues, especially Reform synagogues, are called temples, but Orthodox and Conservative Judaism consider this inappropriate as they do not consider synagogues a replacement for the Temple in Jerusalem. Some Jewish congregations use the Yiddish term 'shul' to describe their place of worship or Beyt Knesset ( Hebrew בית כנסת ) meaning house of assembly.

Norse Paganism


Japanese people praying.




Vietnamese ancestral worship

Cao Dai temple

See also


  1. ^ Hans Kung (2006), Tracing the Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 248.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ ^ Robinson, James. Religions of the World: Hinduism.1st. Chelsea House Publishers, 2004. Page 72. ^ Werner, Karel (1994). A Popular Dictionary of Hinduism. Curzon Press. ISBN 0-7007-1049-3. ^ a b c Narayanan,Vasudha. "The Hindu Tradition". In A Concise Introduction to World Religions, ed. Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007 ^ Bain, Keith, Pippa Bryun, and David Allardice. Frommer’s India. 1st. New Jersey: Wiley Publishing, 2010. Page 75 ^ Harley, Gail M (2003). Hindu and Sikh Faiths in America. Facts on File, Inc. ISBN 0-8160-4987-4. ^

Further reading

  • James P. Wind, Places of worship: exploring their history, Rowman Altamira, 1997
  • Vaughan Hart, Places of worship, Phaidon, 1999
  • Eric Kang, The Place of Worship, Essence Publishing, 2003
  • Houses Of Worship
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