The word church has its roots from a Greek word called ekklesia which meant an assembly or the called-out ones. Therefore the word church is used to refer to the body of all believers both defined in various ways. In some instances, people associate the word church with a building or house that is used for Christian religious activities, especially Christian worship services.
Bishop David Oyedepo
Bishop David Oyedepo of Nigeria is the richest preacher in the whole world with a net worth of $150 million. The Bishop who is around 63 years old owns two private jets, a $10 million house, and controls churches in 45 African states as well as several in Dubai, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Bishop Oyedepo is the General Overseer of Winners Chapel and the Chancellor of Covenant University. He tops the Forbes list of richest pastors in the world with his net worth of $150 million. Bishop Oyedepo heads the single largest church in the world according to Forbes.
During the Easter in Greece, a ‘rocket war’ is held annually where many home-made rockets are fired at each other. Originally, the event was held with real cannons until their use was prohibited in 1889. The event is known as Rouketopolemos and is usually held at the town of Vrontados on the Greek island of Chios. The two rival church congregations perform the war by firing the rockets across town with the main objective being to hit the bell tower of the rival church on the other side. The rockets are made of wooden sticks loaded with a propellant mixture of gunpowder and launched from grooved platforms.
One of the most famous churches in the world is not even finished being built yet. The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is a very large unfinished church in Barcelona, Spain. The church with a capacity of approximately 6,000 has a facade facing the southeast. It has a length of 300ft and a width of 200ft and 18 planned spires of 560ft each with 8 spires completed so far. The church’s construction progressed slowly since it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish civil war. It was designed by a Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi and in November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church and proclaimed it a minor basilica.
There are churches which have been decorated with human remains. In Czech Republic, something truly extraordinary is located in its small town of Sedlec. Skeletal remains of the dead have been used to decorate a Roman Catholic chapel. Around 40,000 skeletons were used with the bones comprising the chandeliers, coat of arms, and other accents to the gothic interior. The artist’s sign off is in bone and its great chandelier comprises examples of every bone in the human body.
Lalibela, a high place of Ethiopian Christianity is home to 11 monolithic churches carved out of mountains and connected by tunnels. To make them invisible to raiders, the roofs are at a ground level. The building is mainly attributed to King Lalibela who wanted to build a New Jerusalem after Muslim conquests halted Christian pilgrimages to the whole land. It flourished after the decline of the Aksum Empire – read article on the importance of attending church.