AskDefine | Define desecration

Dictionary Definition

desecration n : blasphemous behavior; the act of depriving something of its sacred character; "desecration of the Holy Sabbath" [syn: profanation, blasphemy, sacrilege]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. An act of disrespect or impiety towards something considered sacred; blasphemy, sacrilege or profanation.


Related terms

Extensive Definition

Desecration is the act of depriving something of its sacred character -- or the disrespectful or contemptuous treatment of that which is held to be sacred by a group or individual. Those who hold the desecrated thing as sacred may consider desecratory acts to be sacrilegious acts. This can include desecration of sacred books, sacred places or sacred objects. Desecration generally may be considered from the perspective of a particular religion or spiritual activity. Desecration may be applied to natural systems or components particularly if those systems are part of naturalistic spiritual religion.
To respectfully remove the sacred character of a place or an object is referred to as Deconsecration and should not be seen as a form of desecration.
Some religions, such as the Roman Catholic Church have specific rules as to what constitutes desecration and what should be done in these circumstances.

Desecration of the House of the Báb, Shiraz

In this house in Shiraz, Iran, the Báb, the prophet-founder of the [Babi] religion declared his mission on 23 May 1844.
In 1942-3 it was damaged by fire in an attack by enemies of the Bahá'í Faith, and in 1955 it was destroyed, but later again restored. In 1979 it was destroyed once more during the Iranian Revolution. In 1981 the site was made into a road and public square. Recently, a mosque dedicated to the 'Promised One' has been built adjacent to the site.


desecration in German: Profanierung
desecration in French: Profanation
desecration in Polish: Profanacja

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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