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Churches

Ecclesiophobia is the fear of churches, a branch of agoraphobia. There are two primary causes of fear: fear of a deity or deities, or because of the unique architectural style of churches.

There are many things in the church that can be disturbing, such as images of sufferings that trigger fears of blood and death. Also, being a religious venue, those that believe in God may feel as though they are being watched and judged by God when inside a church. The sound of a church organ can also sound haunting to some. Being in a small chapel can cause claustrophobia (fear of being in a small space).

Religious beliefs such as mythical disasters can effectively cause fear as well as xenophobia (fear of foreigners) if the person is uncomfortable with outside religions.

Symptoms of ecclesiophobia include sweating, shaking, trembling, nausea, heart palpations, and feeling of dread. It is most commonly treated using exposure therapy, or with other methods like relaxation stragedies.

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