Can someone describe a sanctuary please?I'm doing a big religious paper and have to describe a sanctuary in sort of my own words, can someone help me please??

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are at least two different meanings of the word "sanctuary" in religious terms -- I assume you are asking about the second of the two that I will mention here.

First, sanctuary was a concept in the Middle Ages -- it was the idea that anyone accused of a crime could run to a church and be free from arrest as long as they stayed there.

Second, the sanctuary refers to the holiest part of a church.  This is the area where the altar is.  In the old days, it also referred to the part of a church where the clergy (as opposed to the congregation) would sit during services.  Nowadays, it just means the part of the church that is not really for the congregation -- the part with the altar where the minister or priest conducts the service.  It is often raised above the rest of the church by a few steps and/or walled off with a rail.

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