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Church architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches.It has evolved over the two thousand years of the Christian religion, partly by innovation and partly by imitating other architectural styles as well as responding to changing beliefs, practices and local traditions.
Christian architecture was made to correspond to civic and imperial forms, and so the Basilica, a large rectangular meeting hall became general in east and west, as the model for churches, with a nave and aisles and sometimes galleries and clerestories.In the beginning Christians worshipped along with Jews in synagogues and in private houses.After the separation of Jews and Christians the latter continued to worship in people's houses, known as house churches.The books of the Holy Scriptures were found, and they were committed to the flames; the utensils and furniture of the church were abandoned to pillage: all was rapine, confusion, tumult.That church, situated on rising ground, was within view of the palace; and Diocletian and Galerius stood, as if on a watchtower, disputing long whether it ought to be set on fire.A simple church may be built of mud brick, wattle and daub, split logs or rubble.
It may be roofed with thatch, shingles, corrugated iron or banana leaves.Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, greet you warmly in the Lord." Some domestic buildings were adapted to function as churches.One of the earliest of adapted residences is at Dura Europos church, built shortly after 200 AD, where two rooms were made into one, by removing a wall, and a dais was set up.However, church congregations, from the 4th century onwards, have sought to construct church buildings that were both permanent and aesthetically pleasing.This had led to a tradition in which congregations and local leaders have invested time, money and personal prestige into the building and decoration of churches.The additional chambers may be part of the original plan, but in the case of a great many old churches, the building has been extended piecemeal, its various parts testifying to its long architectural history.