New Research Shows Fewer Americans Identify as Christian

According to a recent Pew Research survey of 35,000 people age 18 and older, Americans’ religious affiliations are notably shifting. While America is still home to more Christians than any other country, fewer people say they are Christian than they did 7 years ago. The survey also notes changes in ethnic diversity among Christians: 

10 Spectacular Wooden Churches From Russia

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In Mother Russia, wood is an important resource for survival and life… well, at least in the old days that is. For over a thousand years, almost everything was made from the strong trees in the country. These included houses, mills, barns, palaces, plows, carts and churches. Up until the 18th century, many beautiful domed structures were designed and built in the country, with The Russian Orthodox Churches being particularly beautiful. To cap it off? They were all built without hammer and nails.

Polka Popes: Art on a Transitioning Church

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What is considered sacred? What signifies a tribute and what is blasphemy? It’s often a fine line and subject to the attitudes of the time we live within. German artist Miriam Jonas rides this touchy razors-edge, creating relief portraits of clerics inside tin-cans using a very unusual medium: Play-Doh.

Extreme Makeover: Church Edition

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Sometimes churches need makeovers. Over the course of many years some churches just don’t get the attendance they used to, and without the people to support the building expenses and upkeep, some churches close down. Such was the case of a church located in Ward 6, an up and coming waterfront neighborhood in Washington D.C. It was up for sale and it needed a facelift. With the help of a private commission, artist Hense was brought on to baptize this church into a new beginning and bring a little color to the local neighborhood.

Visual Bits #329 >Unbelievably Executed Architecture

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Heavenly Panoramas: The Church Ceilings of New York

Whether part of the religious faithful or not, churches and their lofty edifices inspire people around the world with their beautifully detailed ceilings. Their stunning array of geometric details draw observing eyes skyward towards the heavens, bringing a sense of awe and quiet contemplation to many who crane their necks for a full view of the splendor above. New York based photographer Richard Silver has created a series of photographs which captures these places better than anyone we’ve seen before: vertically oriented panoramas of New York church ceilings that create that same neck craning experience.

Visual Bits #285> Architecture: Let’s Get To The Point

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Vaults: Mesmerizing Patterns on Cathedral Ceilings

The next time you find yourself in a Romanesque or Gothic european church, cathedral or basilica, lay down on the floor and cast your eyes up to the mesmerizing ceiling. Built between the 12th and 16th centuries, it’s hard to believe the level of detail and variation in these marvels of architecture from over half a millennia ago. The designs, full of intricately repeating ribbed diamonds and triangles, look like kaleidoscopic designs carved from stone… actually, that’s not far from the truth.

The Transparent Church: Read Between The Lines

In a recent and revealing project, Belgian architecture collaborative Gijs Van Vaarenbergh has created a sculptural, visually transparent church made of horizontal layers of steel. The slightly smaller than life-sized piece, created using 30 tons of plate steel separated by metal blocks, is titled “Reading Between the Lines” and is not intended as an actual church but rather a place of reflection and introspection: “because the church does not fulfill its classical function, it can be read as a heritage related reflection on the present vacancy of churches in the area (and their potential artistic reuse).”

The Carol of the Bells Played on iPads


For Christmas this year the folks at North Point Community Church in Georgia wanted to mix things up a bit. Using borrowed iPhones and iPads, they formed an “iBand” and performed the traditional bell choir song “The Carol of the Bells” using only the Apple devices. Merry iChristmas!