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In the beginning Christians worshipped along with Jews in synagogues and in private houses.
After the separation of Jews and Christians the latter continued to worship in people's houses, known as house churches.
The requirements of liturgy have generally demanded that the church should extend beyond a single meeting room to two main spaces, one for the congregation and one in which the priest performs the rituals of the Mass.
In the 20th century, the use of new materials, such as steel and concrete, has had an effect upon the design of churches.These were often the homes of the wealthier members of the faith.Saint Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians writes: "The churches of Asia send greetings.The sentiment of Diocletian prevailed, who dreaded lest, so great a fire being once kindled, some part of the city might he burnt; for there were many and large buildings that surrounded the church.Then the Pretorian Guards came in battle array, with axes and other iron instruments, and having been let loose everywhere, they in a few hours levelled that very lofty edifice with the ground.
Other early Roman churches are built on the sites of Christian martyrdom or at the entrance to catacombs where Christians were buried.