There's been lots of talk about whether Christianity is Avodah Zara.

Are there any distinctions between denominations, say which ones have more statues?

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    i think this would be the rough order from less to more of an issue: unitarianism, liberal protestantism, protestantism, catholicism, eastern orthodox
    – Ariel K
    Dec 14, 2011 at 21:10
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    IMO duplicate: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/89. It asks whether Christianity is avoda zara. If the answer is different for different denominations, answers there should say so.
    – msh210
    Dec 14, 2011 at 21:29
  • @ArielK why do you rank eastern orthodox lower than catholic?
    – user4951
    Dec 24, 2011 at 10:25
  • I think they are bigger believers in icon veneration and maybe also in praying to saints.
    – Ariel K
    Dec 25, 2011 at 3:47
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/27969/…
    – SAH
    Dec 17, 2015 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


A building could become prohibited from benefit if it was constructed to house an "idol." Thus it was ruled a century ago that a Methodist church, which does not house any "idols", could be bought by Jews and converted to a synagogue (or any other use for that matter). This isn't a question of theology, it's one of whether there's a physical object in the building that looks like an "idol." Whereas a Catholic Church or further still, an Eastern Orthodox one ... could get a lot trickier.

Similarly, all sorts of questions were asked during WWII about saving one's life by claiming to be a Christian. One responsa discussed the potential difference between wearing a cross (just a t-shape) and a crucifix (which has someone on it).

As ArielK noted, Unitarians pose the least issues. As such Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin permits one to enter a Unitarian church.

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    Where is the Tshuva regarding converting churches to shuls (or entering churches)? Jan 13, 2012 at 23:50
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    Thus it was ruled a century ago ruled by whom?
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 3, 2018 at 20:44

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