Ecclesiophobia- Fear of church

For many people the church is a place of refuge, solace and strength, a place where they may feel comfortable and closer to God. But for some the church represents a mirror of their personal failures, and a reminder of a God they don’t believe they can ever appease. In the worst cases this belief can morph into fear and that fear can become Ecclesiophobia.

Some fear of being accountable to a god or higher being. People fear that they are not worthy of this god because of their actions and their wrongdoings. Some may even have a fear of the church’s architectural structure, the vastness of the structure of the building and might associate churches with the image of gargoyles in the Notre Dame Cathedral. Another cause of fear is that they feel that people who attend church would be hyper-critical of you and you are not living up to the standards of that particular group.

This fear can be profound in those who struggle with the concept of life after death and what decisions may need to be made in order to attain a better life in the hereafter. If that concept isn’t settled in the mind of the individual it can contribute to a profound sense of fear.

Those who struggle most with this fear will visibly tense when they see a church building, or even in the presence of a recognized pastor or those known to attend church. Treatment includes psychotherapy and medications for those with severe symptoms.