- List of largest church buildings in the world
The term "church" is open to interpretation and debate. However, for the purposes of this article, it will be used to mean any building which was built for the primary purpose of Christian worship, for any recognised denomination of Christianity. This includes all
Cathedrals (the seat of a bishop), basilicas and other types of church. It does not include temples of other religions, e.g. mosques, synagogues and so on. It does include at least one building, Hagia Sophia, which was built as a church but later became a mosque (and is now a museum).
Whilst many claims are made about the relative size of churches, many of these claims are not easily substantiated. "Largest" is at best a vague term, which is often not qualified by claimants. Accepted measures of largeness could include area, volume, length, width, height, and capacity (although the latter is far more subjective). It is important to note therefore that churches may claim to be "the largest" based on only one of these measurements; and thus that there may be several churches have equal claim to be the "nth largest church". Since there is no official body governing these claims, there is no generally accepted criteria for being "the largest church".
The lists below attempt to rank churches by different (more-or-less) objective criteria, and thus may generate different orders depending on the measure used. Churches for which claims are made but dimensions cannot be found are not included on the below lists.
For length, width and height, there is usually a definitive statistic for each church, which can easily be compared. However, for area and volume, the situation is often more complex. It is often possible to find multiple values quoted for the area/volume of a church in references. Many values appear to be estimates or approximations (especially for volume), or may have been calculated by multiplying lengths, widths and heights. In the latter case, the exact dimensions used (internal vs. external, etc.) may give very different figures. Therefore, although area and volume are the most common 'largeness' measures, they are also apt to be the least reliable. This should be born in mind when comparing church sizes.
The following is a list of churches for which claims to "largeness" are commonly made, and the nature of those claims. This is not a definitive list of claims, and presence in this table does not mean that the claims are verifiable.
List of tallest churches in the world."
List of tallest churches in the world
List of highest church naves
List of largest buildings in the world
List of the largest Protestant churches of the world
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