social icons graphic

Ecclesiophobia- Fear of church

Ecclesiophobia- Fear of church

For centuries, the church (whatever the denomination of faith) has represented a safe haven, a place for reflection and sanctuary where the faithful can go to feel closer to their god. However, for a growing number of people the church represents a place where unspeakable pain has been caused, either historically (ie the Crusades or the Inquisition) or more close to now atrocities, like the child abuse scandal in the Catholic church. For some others, church becomes a reminder of the fact that they cannot appease god and ultimately they are failures. When this fear becomes pathological it is called Ecclesiophobia

For some sufferers, there is a fear relating to being accountable to a god or higher being which is unseen yet sees all. There can also be a worthiness issue with regards to god in that sufferers will see all of their supposed trangressions as evidence of this unworthiness which causes great anxiety. Still others fear the sometimes Gothic and imposing structures and architecture of the church building itself. Finally, sufferers can also be fearful of the judgement not only from a deity, but from those who come to worship said deity.

This fear can lead to struggles with the great philosophical questions of life after death and the very existence of a supreme being. If the sufferer is not at peace with these ideas it can cause a morbid fear of death, as death remains an undiscovered country with no guarantee of any afterlife.

Like most phobias, the sufferer when confronted with the object of their fear will become physically uncomfortable, to the point of a full blown panic attack. For Ecclesiophobics, even the sight of a cleric away from the church building can have the same symptoms develop. Hypnotically based psychotherapy can help people get to the root of this issue in order for them to achieve a balance with the fear. This intervention is in no way spiritual, but pragmatic as churches are in every community to some extent or another.

Recent Posts