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Automatic assignment from name?

Is anyone working on automatically assigning this from the names of places of worship? We could go a long way by automatically looking for the religion and denomination in names and for example automatically determine "Grace United Methodist Church" needs "religion=christian" and "denomination=methodist"

Freemasons / Masonic Temples / Shrine Temples

I added the example value "masonic" There is a nice SVG available at

I have removed "masonic" from the list, because it is not a religion as masons understand themselves.

  • I recommend to find a tag to group masons, rotarians, lions clubs etc, though they are quite different.

--Lulu-Ann 13:34, 19 November 2009 (UTC)


Osmarender shows for this point [1] the symbols of four religions, including buddhist [2]. Why is Osmarender not showing the symbol for buddhism only? Is there something wrong with the POI, even though it is tagged with "religion=buddhist"?


[2] Key:religion --Cali42 09:28, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Pastafarians - Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster

I have noticed that there are tendences of an edit war regarding the Pastafarians. Until now I have seen edits by User:NE2 and User:Lulu-Ann. Can we try to avoid the edit war on the front page and leave the arguments for and against Pastafarians here instead? According to Church of FSM website there is a merging american division. I think there is an german division that is older, more established. I have no firsthand experience, but are openminded when it comes to religion. --Skippern 13:00, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

According Wikipedia, it's a "parody religion". Is there any place of worship for this ? My guess is "no" or perhaps occasionally in a pub. My 2 cents proposal : move the entry to a new wiki page key:parody_religion. --Pieren 13:39, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Religion is a very sensitive, and for many people extremely serious issue. More people have died fighting for what they believed to be the "truth" in religion than for any other (un-natural) cause. For this reason I would ask everyone to use extreme caution when dealing with this. We should not try to create rules about who has a right to call themselves a religion and who hasn't. Just because a Wikipedia entry says something is a "parody religion" doesn't mean anything. My advice is to follow the "on the ground rule". If there is a building with a sign saying "Church of the Holy Gobblygook" then that indicates that there is at least one person for whom this is a place of worship (and it is none of our business to decide how righteous and serious his religious feelings are!), and it is ok to tag it as such. It is absolutely unacceptable to delete someone else's "place of worship" from the map, unless (a) it is a copyright violation or (b) the "on the ground rule" does not apply. I think there may even be some legitimate places of worship to which the OTG rule only partially applies, e.g. a sacred mountain or tree or so - they will rarely have a sign saying "this is a sacred mountain". --Frederik Ramm 13:43, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I would say that we should be open for all religions, wether debatable or not. I would argue differently for various religions, and only will argue against when themselves does not call it religion (such as maconiry, which is considered a secret society). I noticed that jedi'ism was put on the list, and I could expand the list with religion=subgenius for the Church of the SubGenius, and religion=santa or similar for the Church of Santa Claus (registered as religion in Norway). The list can probably be much longer, though some religions can be difficult to classify. For example how to tag correctly druidism, various forms of shamanism etc. --Skippern 14:08, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Frederik, you should read the article before commenting. This religion has been created as a parody and no one is claimed it is a "real" religion. By doing this, you fall down in the trap of the parody. -- Pieren 14:39, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I am quite sure that whatever its inventors may have thought, the FSM stuff *does* have followers who are in every respect as "religious" as some of the followers of "proper" established religions. It may have been started as a parody but that doesn't mean it is one. (Would founders of other, more established religions agree with what the religion has become today, and would it be relevant?). If it were my decision - if someone puts up a sign "Church of Bob" in his garden then let him have his religion=bobism. I'd rather have that than be bogged down by endless my-religion-is-truer-than-your-religion discussions. --Frederik Ramm 22:36, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Before deleting the place, I did a search for the name that was given ("Oblong") and 'pastafarian', and nothing relevant came up. Because it's a popular parody, such a place would be all over the net if it actually existed and had a sign. The issue of whether it belongs in this list is separate: as it states, it's not an exhaustive list, and there was a grand total of one place tagged as 'pastafarian'. Even if the place were a "real" pastafarian church, I would still argue that said religion doesn't belong on this list. --NE2 15:48, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I know several persons that rather believe in a parody than in the ridiculous person of the pope, as they call him. No reason to delete, even if there are only few holy places in the map. It is so popular that it is even rendered. Freedom of religion is a human right. So is adding to the map whatever you believe in. --Lulu-Ann 19:01, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
"Freedom of religion is a human right.". Oh my god... It's a parody ! And freedom of parody is also a human right ! So, please, stop this joke and move all this to the parody_religion=* page (or parody=* + type=religion) + name=Pastafarianism + alt_name=Flying Spaghetti Monster + wikipedia= --Pieren 20:01, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Pieren, proove that the christian religion is more true than the pastafarian religion, or leave the holy places in the map! --Lulu-Ann 20:35, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Can you than provide a valid requirement for the list? Would Church of Elvis, Church Of the SubGenius, Church of Santa Claus, Temple of the Jedi Knights, etc fit in the list? --Skippern 16:08, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Do any of them have a significant number of (or even any) places of worship? --NE2 16:11, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Church of Elvis I believe only exists in Las Vegas, and I do not know if they offer other services than on-the-hour marriages. Church of the SubGenius have some churches spread around, don't know how many, though the main event is their annual X-Day which is held at a clothing-optional camp in New York state close to 10th of July, the date they believe the end of the world will come. Church of Santa Claus I guess do not have a place of gathering as the purpose of the religion is to celebrate christmas and give gifts. The Temple of the Jedi Knights have several gatherings, though I do not know how well organized they are, or how often they have their gatherings, in 2001 there was close to 400000 members in the UK alone, though they have followers in many other countries. --Skippern 16:33, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
NE2/L-A - I think the OTG rule should be followed, so if there *is* something clearly marked as a FSM place of worship on the ground then it can be in OSM. If it is something virtual then leave it out of OSM, freedom of religion or not. I wouldn't usually try to remotely determine whether something is on the ground ("if there was something a search would bring it up" etc), but trust that the local mappers will verify and fix if needed. --Frederik Ramm 22:36, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I think too that the OTG rule should be followed, and if there is something on the ground marked as FSM place of worship on the ground, it could have a place in OSM. But not necessarily with the tag place_of_worship ! Do words have senses or not ? Do toilets and restaurant words have senses or not ? If you see toilets building with a sign restaurant, you will smile and tag it as toilets with name=restaurant in spite of the intention of the man having put the sign but in respect to the users of OSM. Do religion and parody have senses or not ? Create a tag for jokes if you want but don't abuse the users.
And even if one people have built his own temple to Bob in his garden (example above) it is not enough to call it a religion, for religion is a social fact, that means with several people involved) with common practices.
Freedom of religion is a human right ? OK, and sexuality too, but we have deleted obscenities on OSM. Why should religion escape to common sense, on the pretext of human right bad used that would make OSM a trash ? Why shoud we respect more the joke of one people (or even if its is not a joke) than the sensitivity of billion people ? Freedom of religion is a human right Yes, and we must respect the sensitivity of billion people.
I just want to add that faith and religion are not exactly the same things. We must map religion place of worship, and not places where I could pray.
--FrViPofm 14:28, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Whoohoo, the "on the ground" argument is cool! I might use it to delete all "phone" tags! Just kidding. I leave your phone tags alone if you leave my holy places. What do they harm? You don't delete other places that your are just not interested in ?! Lulu-Ann
It's not the problem of deleting or not the place but rather tagging it as it is : a parody. By confusing real religions with jokes with the same tags, you insult billions of people. --Pieren 13:21, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
You'd probalby insult more people adding adult services. What about the hundred thousands pastafarians you insult? Just because YOU think it is a parody, they won't... --Lulu-Ann 11:36, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
@Lulu-Ann : Who is YOU ? perhaps me... Is it insulting someone that telling what we can read on the website ? The big call of the pastafarians is not to be naïve. And they have found a good, and satiric way to fight against naïveté. À bon entendeur, Salut ! (in French in the text) --FrViPofm 13:49, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

It has nothing to do with insult or offense. It's simple: does a place exist where any person who is or wishes to become a pastafarian can show up at a regularly scheduled time and worship with others, whether or not that worship is total satire? That, to me, is what a place of worship is. --NE2 20:08, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Change religion=muslim to religion=islam

The word Muslim is not a description of a religion.

"Muslim" refers to someone who follows religion of Islam.

The crescent is definitely not a sign of Islam. We need a better way to represent it.

I think you are misunderstanding the tagging here: "christian" is also not the name of a religion. The most important thing about a tag is that people use the same tag for meaning the same thing, it would also be ok to make it efjfh=wjfhhjhchdc as long as everyone agrees on using it. For now I will revert your change on the key page until you find agreement with the users on the talk page here about changing it. Regarding the crescent: The symbol used on a map or in a map editor is up to that program, so different programs can use different symbols for the same thing. Currently many programs use a crescent symbol to indicate a mosque on a map; the important thing here is that people recognize that it is indicating a position of a mosque (including those map users that don't know much about islam). If you know of a better symbol that many people recognize then please suggest one.--Lyx 12:11, 11 October 2010 (BST)


What about cults and sects? "The historical usage of the term sect in Christendom has had pejorative connotations, referring to a group or movement with heretical beliefs or practices that deviate from those of groups considered orthodox"

What is your question? Lulu-Ann

Explicit absense of religion

It may be useful to have a way to denote the absense of religion.

For instance, many kindergartens in Germany are accociated with a certain religion, there are many explicitly protestant or catholic kindergartens. So using religion=* on these makes a lot of sense, and it is already established practice. But what if a kindergarten (or something else which *could* have a religion associated with it) is for instance operated by the town and is thus not affiliated with a religion? The current implied practise dictates to not set the religion tag at all. But this is a problem: Having no religion tag could also mean the religion is unknown.

So I suggest a way to explicitly state a lack of religous affiliation by using:


I.e. for a kindergarten operated by a city:

Obviously this doesn't make sense for amenity=place_of_worship, but I think for kindergartens (and whatever else) it makes a lot of sense.

Note that some of the persons associated with the orgainization/amenity/whatever may still be religious, the point is that the organization/whatever itself is not affiliated with a religion.

Any comments on that? --Wuzzy (talk) 12:55, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Although this wouldn't be very useful in my country, I'm not opposed to the idea. But I think that another (new) key should be used instead of religion=none. A possibility would be no_religion=yes. While affirming a negative may seem ridiculous at first, it's something that is used in OSM in tags like noname=yes and noexit=yes, and is useful to avoid problems when handling the data (so it doesn't seem there is a religion called "none"). Another possibility would be something like validate:no_religion=yes

Religion tag on non-"places of worship"

The USA has a large number of schools including universities which are explicitly Christian and often explicitly affiliated with a particular denomination. This seems to me like useful information to include in the map and is not captured by the current wiki tagging scheme. I've already started tagging schools with religion and denomination, and it sound like I'm not the only one doing so. Does anyone have any objection to adding this functionality to the religion tag? If not I'll go ahead and edit the pages to reflect this usage. --MindB (talk) 15:25, 22 June 2016 (UTC)


Does religion=unitarian really belong here? Isn't it just a denomination of christianity? Shouldn't it be in denomination=*? Chrabros (talk) 14:10, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm not an expert (or a Unitarian), but the FAQ of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in the UK is clear that many Unitarians do not consider themselves to be Christian. I would thus be inclined to list it at the religion=* level rather than at the denomination=* level. It might also be reasonable to split Unitarianism, Universalism, and Unitarian Universalism, but I haven't looked into that enough to be sure. --Ben Harris (talk) 20:03, 19 October 2016 (UTC)