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Religious Buildings: Church & Mosque

One of the most well-known of religious buildings is the church, which welcomes the public and is often associated with the Christian faith. In this article, you will learn more about churches and mosques.

Church

The members of a church are referred to as a congregation, which meets on specific days to worship. In the early stages of the Christian faith, it was commonplace to meet at the homes of the church. They were called house churches. But, when the religion grew in popularity, the government set aside entire buildings for the purpose of Christian worship. An example of this is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which catered to Eastern Christians. The church was located within the walled Old City of Jerusalem.

In traditional circles, the church buildings were often made in the shape of a cross. A tower or dome was a common feature. As more modern churches were constructed, they represent a wide range of architectural styles and layouts. It was not uncommon to see buildings that had been used for something entirely different being transformed into a church.

London is the ideal place to see a lot of infamous churches, chapels and cathedrals. No other place in England compares to the number for in the city. Interestingly, London was home to around 100 churches that were packed into an area measuring one square mile. However, when the Great Fire of London erupted in 1666, eighty-six churches were left destroyed. Out of the burned structures, only fifty-one were rebuilt along with St. Paul’s Cathedral.

A few churches found in London include St. Thomas More from Church of England, the Finchley Baptist Church, Friends Meeting House of the Quakers, and the Roman Catholic building named Our Lady of Dolours.

Mosque

A Muslim place of worship is called a mosque, which is associated with the Islamic faith. Muslims come together at a mosque to engage in prayer (which is called salat). The mosque also serves as a center for information, education and a place that settles dispute amongst members. The person who leads the congregation in prayer is called the Imam. The history of the mosque is traced back thousands of years. In the 7th century, the early examples were called the Quba Mosque and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi that offered an open-air space. The first mosques emerged on the Arabian Peninsula and the building of the structures eventually spread to all inhabited continents. Some of the common features of a mosque include elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls.

Mosques hold special prayers in the morning on two holidays pertaining to the Islamic calendar , Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. The Eid prayers are supposed to accommodate large groups, therefore, larger mosques would hold these special meetings. It is also not uncommon to see Eid prayers held outside in the courtyard or town square.

Examples of mosques around the world include the Lipka Tatar mosque in the village of Bohoniki, Poland, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, and Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, which was a former Byzantine church.