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16 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (15)

Is the power of your prayers lost or diminished if your mind wanders while praying?

Full Question Is the power of your prayers lost or diminished if your mind wanders while praying? Answer The more fully we give attention to pray…

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12 May 2016 Vatican No comments

Abuse scandal motivates me to fight human trafficking, says Cardinal Nichols

The cardinal said the Church had gained a better understanding of the perspective of the victim Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said that the Church’s sex abuse s…

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02 Oct 2014 Vatican Comments (1)

'I can't find the words to say' – Pope Francis hails surviving migrants

Vatican City, Oct 2, 2014 / 04:03 am .- In a private audience between Pope Francis and the survivors and family members of the 368 migrants who perished in a tr…

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28 Apr 2016 Vatican Comments (1)

Vatican watchdog reports sharp rise in suspicious financial activity

Seventeen cases were passed on to Vatican prosecutors to investigate last year The Vatican’s financial watchdog has said it received 544 reports of suspicious …

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24 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (11)

What is the Angelus?

Full Question What is the Angelus? Answer It's a three-part prayer said thrice daily, usually at six in the morning, noon, and six in the eve…

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13 Aug 2016 Q&A No comments

Why is St. Anthony of Padua invoked for the finding of lost items?

Full Question Why is St. Anthony of Padua invoked for the finding of lost items? Answer One popular story is that a brother friar of St. Anthony st…

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02 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (11)

How can you take Jesus' words about being "born of water and the Spirit" literally?

Full Question Jesus says in John 3:3–5 that only those "born of water and Spirit" can enter the kingdom. How can you claim this refers to literal water bap…

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13 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

How the 'shadow council' is trying to influence the Synod on the Family

When the first week's reports of the 13 small groups at the Synod on the Family were released on Friday, the influence of those who participated in May's “Shado…

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04 Jun 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (23)

‘Brothers and Sisters of Jesus’ Did Mary give birth Other Children

ISSUE: How can the Catholic Church teach that Mary was a virgin after the birth of Christ when there are references in Scripture to the “brothers and sisters” o…

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Top ten Oldest Church Buildings in the World

The churches listed below are the popularly know oldest churches in the history of the world. Some of the Church buildings have collapsed to the ground due to several factors while others are still standing either still in use or just abandoned. Most of them have been renovated over time, thereby making some of them to lose some of the original materials they were built with from their first days, especially for those ones that are still in use.

1. Dura-Europos church

In our list of oldest churches of the world, The Dura-Europos church  is the earliest identified Christian house church. It is located in Dura-Europos in Syria and dates from 235 AD. The site of Dura-Europos, a former city and walled fortification, was excavated largely in the 1920s and 1930s by French and American teams. Within the archaeological site, the house church is located by the 17th tower and preserved by the same defensive fill that saved the nearby Dura-Europos synagogue (Wikipedia).

The designation of the oldest churches in the world requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of oldest surviving building, and the oldest in the sense of oldest Christian church congregation. Even here, there is the distinction between old church buildings that have been in continuous use as churches, and those that have been converted to other purposes; and between buildings that have been in continuous use as churches and those that were shuttered for many decades. In terms of congregations, they are distinguished between early established congregations that have been in continuous existence, and early congregations that ceased to exist (Wikipedia).

2. Megiddo church

Megiddo church in Tel Megiddo, Israel is one of the oldest church buildings ever discovered by archaeologists, dating to the 3rd century AD. In 2005, Israeli archaeologist Yotam Tepper of Tel-Aviv University discovered the remains of a church, believed to be from the third century, a time when Christians were still persecuted by the Roman Empire. The remains were found at the Megiddo Prison, which is located a few hundred meters south of the Tel. Among the finds is an approx. 54-square-metre (580 sq ft) large mosaic with a Greek inscription stating that the church is consecrated to “the God Jesus Christ.” The mosaic is very well preserved and features geometrical figures and images of fish, an early Christian symbol (Wikipedia).

3. Monastery of Saint Anthony

The Monastery of Saint Anthony is a Coptic Orthodox monastery standing in an oasis in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Hidden deep in the Red Sea mountains, it is located 334 km (207 miles) southeast of Cairo. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the world, and was established by the followers of Saint Anthony, who is considered to be the first ascetic monk. The Monastery of St. Anthony is one of the most prominent monasteries in Egypt and has strongly influenced the formation of several Coptic institutions, and has promoted monasticism in general. Several patriarchs have been pulled from the monastery, and several hundred pilgrims visit it each day (Wikipedia).

4. Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains basilica

Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains basilica is a historic church building in Metz, France that was built in 380 AD and is one of the oldest churches in Europe. The building was originally built to be part of a Roman spa complex, but the structure was converted into use as a church in the 7th century becoming the chapel of Benedictine monastery. A new nave was constructed in the 1000s with further interior renovations. In the 16th century the building became a warehouse and remained so until the 1970s when it was restored and opened for concerts and exhibitions (Wikipedia).

5. Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion

Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the most important church in Ethiopia. The original church is believed to have been built during the reign of Ezana, the first Christian emperor of Ethiopia, during the 4th century AD, and has been rebuilt several times since then. The church is in the town of Axum in the Tigray Province. Its first putative destruction occurred at the hands of Queen Gudit during the 10th century. Its second, confirmed, destruction occurred in the 16th century at the hands of Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, after which it was rebuilt by the Emperor Gelawdewos, then further rebuilt and enlarged by Fasilides during the 17th century (Wikipedia).

6. Cathedral of Trier

Cathedral of Trier is a church in Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is the oldest cathedral in the country. The edifice is notable for its extremely long life span under multiple different eras each contributing some elements to its design, including the center of the main chapel being made of Roman brick laid under the direction of Saint Helen, resulting in a cathedral added on to gradually rather than rebuilt in different eras. Its dimensions, 112.5 by 41 m, make it the largest church structure in Trier. Since 1986 it has been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites (Wikipedia).

7. Church of Saint Simeon Stylites

The Church of Saint Simeon Stylites is a well preserved church that dates back to the 5th century, located about 30 km northwest of Aleppo, Syria. It is built on the site of the pillar of St. Simeon Stylites, a famed hermit monk. It is popularly known as Qalat Seman the ‘Fortress of Simeon’ (Wikipedia).

8. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople of the Western Crusader established Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1934, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935 (Wikipedia).

9. Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai

Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinaiies on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai in Saint Katherine city in Egypt. The monastery is Orthodox and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the UNESCO report (60100 ha / Ref: 954), this monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world together with the Monastery of Saint Anthony, situated across the Red Sea in the desert south of Cairo, also lays claim to that title (Wikipedia).

10. Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. The structure is built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth, and thus it is considered sacred by Christians. The site is also revered by followers of Islam (Wikipedia).



  1. Alejandro Reply

    Jubail Church is an ancient (4th-century) Nestorian church building near Jubail, Saudi Arabia, discovered in 1986. The Saudi government hides it from locals and even archaeologists as the Kingdom follows a strict version of Islamic law and prohibits all non-Islamic forms of worship. Churches are officially banned in Saudi Arabia and a limited number of Christians, mostly westerners, are permitted to worship in private as long as no Christian symbols are openly visible.

    1. Jino Reply

      St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Palayoor@ 52ad

  2. innocent habarurema Reply

    I like this story

  3. Joe Reply

    So the Echmiazin in Armenia which is built in 301 AD is not recognized?

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