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Suppose a school graduation is held in a building that is used for church services as well as various kinds of non-religious cultural events. One example of such a venue is the United Palace theater; which bills itself as a "interfaith spiritual center, entertainment venue, and artistic hub." Is it permissible to attend a graduation in such a place?

marked as duplicate by Salmononius2, user15464, DonielF, Danny Schoemann halacha Jun 4 at 11:24

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  • Similar to this question judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/3666/voting-in-a-church/… and here's a also Reddit thread which discusses this scenario reddit.com/r/Judaism/comments/4cscol/… – alicht May 14 at 4:00
  • I'm not knowledgeable enough in Halacha and I can't provide sources but I can assure you 100% that a Jew is forbidden to enter a church because it's a place of Avodah Zarah. – Dan Weisberg May 14 at 10:51
  • See s3.amazonaws.com/ncsy-education/… – robev May 14 at 12:33
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    @DanWeisberg That's not 100% clear in this question. A rabbi clarified for me once that halachically, a "neutral" building that is used occasionally for "Church services" is technically not a Church. As I understand it, OP says that this place "doubles as a Church". Meaning, it fits what I just described. Thus, while it is not functioning as a Church per se, it's just a theater. – DanF May 14 at 13:31
  • What do you mean by "to graduate"? I graduated when the registrar of my school reviewed my file and clicked a button. I wasn't there nor do I know when it happened. – Double AA May 14 at 14:16

For the practical rule please consult your Rabbi.

The main prohibition of visiting a church is indirect - it might look as if one converted or worships idols. In a situation where the place is commonly, publicly and openly used for social events, such fear does not exist and therefore it would not be prohibited.

Another consideration is "what's at stake?", we usually tend to leniency when monetary (or other significant) losses are at stake. Like if you dropped a $100 bill in front of a Buddha statue you're allowed to pick it up or enter a church to demand to pay debts.

Only in some extreme cases, for example, when a prominent Rabbi is involved or when the ceremony requires elements of worshipping it should be reconsidered.

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    Would be great if you could provide sources – Dan Weisberg May 14 at 12:19
  • I believe this post is wrong. There's a separate prohibition of going into a foreign place of worship, for any reason, such as voting or touring – robev May 14 at 12:30

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