Holy Places and Places of Worship

Church- The church plays a critical role in Christianity due to the structure of the building. The building is an expression of religious principles, and environment in the image of God. Since the place of worship is important, Christians have contributed much wealth to the maintenance and construction of churches. Christianity splits into many different denominations. There is not one denomination that dominates. Churches reflect the cultural values of the denomination and the region’s architectural heritage.

Mosque- A mosque is viewed as a location for the community to gather together for worship. Muslims consider the Mosque as a space for community assembly. The mosque is organized around a central courtyard, usually open air. The pulpit is at the end of the courtyard facing Makkah, the direction toward which all Muslims pray. The minaret is a tower where a man known as muzzan summons people to worship.

Temple- The Hindu temple serves as a home to one or more gods. Individuals or groups that are wealthy usually maintain temples. The temple includes a small, dimly lighted room with symbolic artifacts and other images of God. There is not a huge interior space filled with seats due to there being no congregational worship in the Hindu faith.

Pagoda- The pagoda is a prominent and visually attractive element of the Buddhist and Shintoist landscape. Pagodas usually include tall, many sided towers arranged in a series of tiers, balconies, and slanting roofs. After Buddha’s death, his followers scrambled to find his relics. Pagodas contain these relics that Buddhists believe to be a portion of Buddha’s body or clothing. In order to diffuse this religion, Buddhists carried around these relics and built pagodas for them. Pagodas are not designed for congregational worship.

Synagogue- Synagogues usually contain a large hall for
prayer, smaller rooms for study, and sometimes a social hall and offices. The beth midrash is a sepereate room for Torah study which is sometimes found in synagogues as well. Synagogues are used with the Judaism religion. Synagogues are not consecrated spaces. A synagogue is not necessary for worship. Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews assemble.