The people or the building?

The Roman Catholic Church has one of the largest holdings of real estate of any organization in the world.

Over the last two millenia it has build thousands of churches around the globe, some humble, some resembling lavish storehouses of art and artefacts.

The multi-million dollar Crystal Cathedral, often called ‘the most spectacular religious edifice in the world’ was built in 1980 by the Reformed Church in America.  Today, it often shows up on ‘top-ten attractions’ lists for the Anaheim area.

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The Charismatic City Harvest Church in Singapore was modeled after Spain’s Guggenheim Museum.  It cost nearly $48 million Singaporean dollars ($27 million) to construct in 2002.

Highlights include a quarter-million dollar custom-designed Broquard fountain, a putting green, as well as unusual building materials such as European limestone and titanium.

In contrast, the 1800-some Amish congregations of North America manage to worship at what you might call a ‘deep discount’.

As a rule, the Amish do not build churchhouses.  Amish church service is held in the typically modest home of a church member.

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    2 Comments

    1. Sean LaFianza

      i live in Maryland and always talk with the Amish of St. Mary’s county when i’m down there (southern MD). A lot of them hold church in a Mennonite church building. Both congregations meet every other week which works out great for both. This was the first i had heard of Amish (new order, i think) using an actual church building.

    2. That is interesting. There may be a few other cases of it, I believe there is a group in–I think–Somerset County PA with a similar situation. And I’m not sure what the Florida Amish do, I thought I remembered reading that they might do the same.