Top 5 Oldest Churches In The World

Church has become a holy place for many Christians to worship for a long time. The construction of churches gave it a unique identity following the use of the cross, and wall designs showing mesmerizing visual arts as well as an architecture that has been passed down for generations.

Despite all of that, the churches that were built long ago were far much different that the ones we see today. You might be wondering where these old churches can be found and whether they still stand today.

Here are the top 5 oldest churches in the world that were ever found to this day.

5. St. Anthony Monastery (Egypt)

A huge monastery located in the oasis of Egypt with its position slightly protected can be found in a small remote area. This church was named after St. Anthony, a Christian monk from Egypt that was born in 251 AD and passed away in 356 AD. He came to this area to spread his Christian belief.

His presence managed to gather various followers and they all agreed to build a house of worship as their center of activities. Between 298 - 300 AD, this monastery was fully completed and St. Anthony and his followers lived there practicing a modest lifestyle by devoting themselves to god.

Ever since the opening of roads to the area in 1946, this monastery easily gained access from visitors and received thousands of visits during the festive season. Today, this location has been expanded and is equipped with parks, bakeries, and 5 separate churches.

4. Aqaba Church (Jordan)

It was discovered in 1988 in Aqaba, Jordan, and from the start Aqaba Church was recognized as the oldest church building ever built before another church was discovered in Rihab, Jordan in 2008.

The church was built using clay around 293 - 303 AD with a height of 4.5 meters and this church can occupy 60 people inside. This church was forced to be left behind following a movement that was killing Christian believers in 303.

It was after more than a decade that they started to use this church again to spread Christian belief. A huge earthquake occurred in 337 causing most of them to escape the area and leaving the church to be covered in dust.

One of the leaders of the church was recorded to be involved during the discussion between Constantine Emperor in a meeting known as the Decree of Nicea. They were talking about the Trinity issue and the future of Christians.

This showed that the Christian community in Aila(old name for Aqaba) had a huge influence on the people back then.

3. Megiddo Church (Palestine)

The Megiddo Church is located in Palestine and it is believed to be built in the 3rd century. What's interesting is that the church was found underneath a prison so archeologists decided to do more digging with the help of trained prisoners inside.

Their attempts really paid off after the team found a church building underneath made from Mozaic and decorated with paintings as well as writings praising Jesus Christ. A unique fish symbol side by side showed that it was an influence on the Christians back then.

The discovery of this church actually happened serendipitously. After the Israelites planned to expand the prison to add another 1,200 capacity for prisoners, the works actually open up a path to discovering this church.

Today this location is being made as a tourist site.

2. Dura-Europos Church (Syria)

The Dura-Europos Church was believed to be built in 229 as a residential area before it was turned into a house of worship in 233- 256. This church was then left behind following the arrival of the Persian army.

Its exterior still maintained the original architecture with only its interior being modified to a church. This design was kept on purpose to hide their religious activities from the local authority at the time which was still hunting Christian believers.

The inside of the church was decorated with paintings of Jesus Christ and other unique drawings ad mentioned in the New Testament.

1. Underground Church, Rihab (Jordan)

This church was estimated to have been built between 30 - 70 AD and this unnamed underground Church in Jordan is recognized as the oldest church in the world. It is also the earliest location where the believers of Jesus Christ gathered.

This church was said to place more than 70 people who ran away after receiving death threats in Jerusalem. While they were all in this area, they were forced to live hiding in a church that is 12 meters long and 7 meters wide.

Researchers also found a water drainage system that provided water to the people inside and a circular area where the people will sit around it. It was highly likely the place where the Christian teachings were taught.

This church was discovered in 2008 by a group of archeologists in Jordan after digging around St. George Church which was built on top. They also predicted that the teachings of Jesus Christ were accepted here in 230.

The followers then decided to build a new church and still maintain this location where the original church is located underneath


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