Ancient Church in the world, The largest religion in the world is Christianity. It is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Since the dawn of time, Christianity is there, and their civilization constructed these buildings of worship are as old as the religion. So here is a list comprising all the oldest churches discovered:
Dura-Europos is the earliest identified church in the world. Earlier it was a private building before they started using it as a church. The domestic house converted into a Christian house church somewhere in between 233 to 256 AD.
After the conquest of Persians, they abandoned the church and the town as well. The church is in ruins. Although after the ISIS occupancy in Syria the fate of the church structure is in dark. Its famous frescos are still in preservation at the Yale University of Art Gallery.
One of the oldest churches found in Israel is Megiddo Church. It was on the site of a modern prison. The discovery of the church is a very interesting incident that took place in the year 2005. The inmates of the prison found the first sign of the probable archaeological site.
Yotam Tepper, an Israeli archaeologist began excavating the site and found some surprising pieces of information. They found a rectangle-shaped building with many Christian artifacts, a preserved mosaic, and a sign of fish, which was the early sign of Christianity. According to the experts, they built the ancient church between the late 3rd to early 4th century AD.
Aqaba church was a hidden gem until late 1998, when a team of archaeologists discovered it in Aqaba, Jordan. It is the world’s oldest purpose-built Christian ancient church. The first part of it is nearly 293 to 303 AD built. The archaeologist team found tombs with golden crosses and glass lamps.
They also found a cemetery with around 20 skeletons and coins in a collection box. The researchers believed that the church got destroyed in 363 AD because of an earthquake, and the church had 60 worshipers in the beginning. Later they built the church with almost doubled capacity.
Mar Sarkis is a convent and monastery, built before 325 AD in Maalula Syria. They still operate as a monastery and ancient church. Although the proper reason for the destruction of the church is unknown, it still preserves the artifacts and relics of Christianity.
There are few nuns at the site who speak English. However, they are warm-hearted and happy to take visitors on a short trip around the site. The church hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Mar Sarkis festival, held each year on October 7th.
5.Church Of Nativity
The church of the nativity in the west bank of Bethlehem holds a prominent religious significance to Christians of various dominance as the birthplace of Jesus. The basilica is the oldest major church in the holy land that is a place of worship in Christianity.
Built-in 325 AD to 326 AD the ancient church was destroyed by the fire during the Samaritan revolts. Over the years the church of nativity went through several reconstructions and repairs. It is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
6.St. Peter’s Basilica
St Peter’s Basilica is one of the oldest churches in the world, built in the Vatican City Rome in 326 to 360 AD. This church is a popular work of renaissance architecture which is also the largest church in the world.
Originally, Roman emperor Constantine I commissioned the church where the crowing of Charlemagne happened and he became the Holy Roman Emperor. The original church stood there until the 16th century when the current church was built. However, some original signs are still there at the site including the st peter’s tomb.
7.Cathedral Of Trier
The High Cathedral of Saint Peter in Trier is a Roman Catholic cathedral and the oldest in Germany. The ancient church is famous for its architectural Excellency and long life span. The church built on a Roman site in 340 AD, is notable for its relics. It preserves one of the Holy Nails that hold Jesus to the cross when they crucified him.
But it’s not the only remarkable relic. There is an artifact known as the seamless robe of Jesus, the robe Jesus wore shortly before the crucifixion. The last time they displayed it in 2012, and it’s not available for public viewing.
8.Basilica Of San Lorenzo
Basilica Of San Lorenzo is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, Italy. The church still stands tall in the center of the city’s main market district. Build-in 393 AD; this church claims to be one of the oldest churches in the world. San Lorenzo was the city’s cathedral for approximately 300 years before the official bishop became Santa Reparata.
It was also the inspiration for Hagia Sophia as it was the largest circular church in the world. Over the years the church went through several changes, but some of its original features remain unchanged. It is still an operational church.
Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the mother church of the Armenian apostolic church. It is the first church of ancient America, built-in 483 AD in the city of Vagharshapat. According to scholars, the Armenian patron saint Gregory the illuminator built the church in the early fourth century between 301 and 303.
Earlier there was a pagan temple, and they built the church over the temple showing the conversion from paganism to Christianity. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Hagia Sophia was the largest church in existence for more than 1000 years. Originally it was the patriarchal cathedral of the imperial capital of Constantinople, built-in 537 AD. The church went through several conversions over the years.
After the Christian cathedral, it’s been a greek orthodox cathedral, a roman catholic cathedral, and also an imperial mosque. The secular Turkish republic re-established it as a museum in 1935. The church is a famous tourist spot in Istanbul and serves approximately 10,000 visitors each day.