A place of worship
or house of worship
is a building or other location where a group of people (a congregation
) comes to perform acts of religious praise, honour, or devotion. The form and function of religious architecture
has evolved over thousands of years for both changing beliefs and architectural style. The term temple
is often used as a general term for any house of worship; but churches
are not generally called temples.
Names used for places of worship
Different religions have different names for their places of worship:
- Bahá'í House of Worship – Bahá'í Faith
- Buddhist temple – Buddhism
- Church – Christianity
- In Western Christianity, some "private" temples are called chapels, while major public ones are designated by a term reflecting its ecclesiastical status, such as cathedral (seat of a diocesan bishop), basilica, or minster, and/or proper to a cultural tradition, including kirk (Scottish–cognate with church) or dom.
- In Orthodox Christianity (both Eastern and Oriental) an Orthodox temple is a church with base shaped like Greek cross.
- Protestant denominations installed in France in the early modern era use the word temple (as opposed to church, supposed to be Roman Catholic); some more recently built temples are called church.
- Quakers call their places of worship meeting houses.
- Church – Mormons use both church and temple to denote different types of buildings. Normal worship services are held in churches (sometimes also called ward meetinghouses) while Mormon temples are reserved for special ordinances.
- Derasar – Jainism
- Fire temple – Zoroastrianism
- Gurdwara – Sikhism
- Jinja – Shinto
- Kingdom Hall – Jehovah's Witnesses use the term Kingdom Hall to identify their places of worship, and seldom, if ever, use the word 'church' to describe any building in use by them for the purpose of such assembly.
- Mandir – Hinduism
- Variously called a mandir' (Hindi), a koyil (Tamil), and an gudi/devalayam/kovela (Telugu).
- Mosque – Islam (also referred to by its Arabic name: Masjid).
- Pathi – Ayyavazhi
- Roman temple – Roman religion
- Synagogue – Judaism
- Some synagogues, especially Reform synagogues, are called temples, but Orthodox Judaism considers this inappropriate as they do not consider synagogues a replacement for the Temple in Jerusalem. Some Orthodox Jewish congregations use the term 'shul' to describe their place of worship.
- Daoguan – Taoism
- Greek temple – Greek religion
- Hof – Norse Paganism
- Wat – Buddhism (in Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos)