[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/{{Up}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/UpChurch_1952.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Not everyone believes in the Great Purple Lilac, but don't argue about it now. [[TearJerker This is a funeral]].]]
In works of fiction, this trope is the habit of not mentioning or showing the specific denomination (or even religion) of a temple, church, or place of worship where the denomination would be '''''expected''''' to play a role. This can take the form of using a generic/made up denomination name in place of a real one, not identifying the church, or combining traits of different denominations to confuse the issue.

This trope is usually used to introduce religion while avoiding it entering too deeply or divisively into a show, a sort of LawOfConservationOfDetail used to keep from distracting the audience. Similar to JesusTaboo, this trope is sometimes purposely used to avoid accusations of favoring/disfavoring a religion, especially when used to avoid marketing mishaps in children's media. Usually in the case of Christian churches, they just have a steeple, pews, a dais and generic stained glass windows without direct symbolic links (such as crosses or angels) that could be identified or interpreted as a specific denomination.

Interestingly, this trope is very much TruthInTelevision. Much as SecularHero and JesusTaboo are common in communities that have diverse religious practices, it's common to see non-denominational "places of worship" in funeral homes, wedding chapels, hospitals and airports in these communities. And there ''are'' some denominations that combine elements of the theology and practices of preexisting ones (e.g. Anglicanism, being somewhere between Catholicism and Protestantism), to say nothing of ones that syncretize Christianity with ''other'' religions (aka InterfaithSmoothie).

To avoid Administrivia/PeopleSitOnChairs, cases where the denomination of a church [[LawOfConservationOfDetail wouldn't be expected to play much of a part in the plot]] '''[[color:red:shouldn't be included as examples.]]''' For example, a lot of films have newlyweds driving away from an unidentified church -- here, the church is used mainly as a signifier that this couple is just married, and its denomination isn't at all important to the plot.

Compare JesusTaboo. Contrast ChristianityIsCatholic, InterfaithSmoothie. See also CrystalDragonJesus and SaintlyChurch.
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!!Examples:

[[AC: Anime and Manga]]
* In ''GundamWing'', the Maxwell Church is supposed to be a Catholic church, although it's unusual because it's not named for Mary or a saint (it's named for the street it's on), and the roles Father Maxwell and Sister Helen play are [[NunsAreMikos more akin to a Shinto priest and miko]].
* A {{flashback}} scene in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' shows Pegasus and Cecelia's wedding in a church with a fancy cross in a stained glass window; one can only assume it was a Christian church, but no other clue to the specific denomination is given.

[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* In ''Comicbook/{{Superman}}: The Wedding Album'', Clark and Lois get married at the Metropolis Chapel of United Faiths.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* In ''[[Film/TwoThousandTwelve 2012]]'', the White House has a non-denominational chapel with pews and stained glass art of doves. Interesting considering that not long before, the Vatican was destroyed by earthquakes, and not long after, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery is destroyed by a tsunami.
** This actually makes sense, as airports, Air Force bases, etc. often have chapels that are built to apply to any denomination of anything, from Buddhist to Judaism and anything in between. That way they can simultaneously not ignore the religious needs of their occupants while also not needing to build a chapel for everyone.
* Eli and his two wards from ''HotLeadAndColdFeet'' belong to a faith that espouses a lot of mumbo-jumbo about "human kindness," and Eli at least has some familiarity with Literature/TheBible, but the movie reveals zero details beyond that. When he gets his own church at the end, there aren't any holy symbols to be seen.
* In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', Kal is sitting in a church when the pastor comes over to talk to him about turning himself in to authorities. While almost certainly a Catholic church (allowing Kal to invoke the Sanctity of the Confessional), the pastor is dressed in normal street clothes.
* In ''Film/IBoughtAVampireMotorcycle'' it is unclear whether the priest who Nobby seeks to exorcise his demon-possessed motorcycle is Catholic or High Church Anglican. Although since Nobby isn't very religious, it's plausible that the issue wouldn't come up.
* In ''Ted 2'', the outside of a church is shown which appears to be a Catholic Gothic-style structure, but when the inside is shown (during a wedding), all stained glass windows have generic symbols, there are no Christian symbols, and the "priest" is wearing generic robe-like vestment with no markings.

[[AC:{{Film}} - WesternAnimation]]
* Creator/{{Pixar}} has a fondness for this trope, it's used in the wedding scene in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''.
* Pictured above in ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'', Carl sits at the chapel, mourning his wife. No explicit holy symbols are shown.
* In ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', the church shown in Calhoun's [[DarkAndTroubledPast ambushed wedding flashback]] and [[spoiler:later wedding to Felix]] is shown this way, with pews, a dais, and a pretty sunburst stained glass front lacking any denomination. Interestingly, the church ''is'' very angularly designed to fit in with the noir/futuristic setting of ''Hero's Duty'', Calhoun's game.
** The church in ''Hero's Duty'' is actually based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Air_Force_Academy_Cadet_Chapel United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel]] in Colorado Springs; the interior shown in the movie specifically resembles the Protestant Chapel section. Comparison [[http://i-dont-give-a-boo.tumblr.com/post/67603978364/queenscream3-norewardisworththis-sgt here.]]
* The bishops who appear in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' and ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' wear national symbols on their mitres instead of crosses: the sun of Corona and the crocus of Arendelle respectively. [[FanWank State-sponsored religions maybe?]]
** In ''Frozen'', however, a cross wreathed in decorations is seen being raised for the coronation.
*** That would be a [[http://gullringstorpgoatsblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/hpim0768.jpg Scandinavian maypole]], which reveals that Elsa is born around the time of Midsummer. The maypole is actually a pagan tradition which predates Christianity, but like many was carried over after their conversion.
** In Corona at least, the name and some of the solar iconography (particularly the cross replacement and the patium designs) seems to indeed imply a state religion akin to real life solar henotheism, like in Heliopolis and Emessa.

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* {{Redwall}} Abbey. Aside from being a monastery, no religion is mentioned.
** Possibly a different trope: it's almost an Abbey to St. Martin...
** However, the nearby church is to St. Ninian, a Catholic and Anglican saint. This was later retconned out of existence (though that does create a plot hole about why there are church mice, or why they even have the ''concept'' of a church without religion).
* The murder mystery anthology ''Board to Death''. All three of the heroes are openly Christian, but attend specifically non-denominational churches.
* The climax of book 5 of ''Literature/AlexRider'' takes place in a Church of Forgotten Saints (but technically it's an oratory).
* Lampshaded in-story in GKChesterton's "The Vampire of the Village". Since "the English know nothing about the Church of England", it takes the Catholic priest FatherBrown to spot that the [[TheVicar village parson's]] purported doctrinal beliefs are an implausible mish-mash of High Church and Low Church opinions, indicating that he is really a [[BadHabits criminal impostor]].
* In the Maggody mystery series, the actual denomination of Brother Verber's Voice of the Almighty Lord Assembly Hall is never stated. The narrative shows Brother Verber being suspicious of Catholics, Methodists, Unitarians, Lutherans and Episcopalians at various times, and there's a Baptist church down the highway that competes with him for followers, but the Assembly Hall's exact affiliation is never specified. (Of course, Verber's "theological training" was via a Las Vegas correspondence course that he seems barely to have passed, so it's possible ''he'' doesn't know either.)

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/SeventhHeaven'' revolved around the family of a minister, and as you would expect, church and churchgoing often figured prominently in the story. They're clearly Protestants, but the denomination is not named.
* On ''Series/{{Amen}}'', the church's denomination (if it had one) was never mentioned. The church council was called the 'board of deacons', and there is no mention of a bishop, synod, or other higher judicature; this indicates that it was Baptist, probably more specifically [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_God_in_Christ COGIC]].
* Cicely's community church in NorthernExposure falls into this. Chris presides, after a mail-order ordination in "The First Church of Truth and Beauty".... and what his theology is, or whether he even has one, is anyone's guess.
* A church Rick Grimes enters in ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' appears on the outside to be a Baptist-style church (the marquee says "Southern Baptist Church of Holy Light")... but there is a very large Roman Catholic crucifix hanging on the back wall. Either this was a St. Genericus church or the writers [[ChristianityIsCatholic didn't know better]]. (Or both.)
* The church the characters on ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' attend has a preacher who is never shown praying or talking about Jesus, and although occasionally a scene in the church will have the congregation singing a hymn, when the choir is shown, they're usually rehearsing a secular choir number. Andy is mentioned as being on the church board.
* An episode of ''Series/DharmaAndGreg'' took place in a hospital that sported a chapel complete with rotating religious symbol on the dais, so that anyone could use it.
* In ''{{Series/Eureka}}'', some of the town's {{Mad Scientist}}s attend the First Church of Eureka. The church has a female pastor but, other than that, there is no indication of what denomination they belong to.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' has a chapel on the USS Enterprise, which is fittingly devoid of any specific denomination. It is seen a few times through the course of the show.
* Grimm has this twice. In the episode with the Wesen church, although the building seemed to be of an established main-line Protestant church (Presbyterian or Methodist), the congregation seems to be organized like an independent Evangelical church. Also, in the episode where the boy was 'possessed' he was being exorcised by what looked like a Catholic ritual by two clergymen vested like Roman Catholic priests, but the church was laid out like a Protestant church.
* What church, exactly, did the Ingalls family attend on LittleHouseOnThePrairie? Reverend Alden never gave a clue.

[[AC:Videogames]]
* ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles: Shadow Lake'' gives us the Bitterford Community Church. In the US, a name like that implies Generic Protestant, and the building is a typical New England church; white-painted wood, clear glass in the windows instead of stained glass. It also has two [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icon icon-style]] paintings at the front of the sanctuary, and the hidden-object scene set there has you looking for bottles of holy water. The psychic vision linked to that area show the pastor (normally a Protestant title) in Roman Catholic vestments and collar.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* For a long time on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the First Church of Springfield wasn't identified with any particular Christian sect; WordOfGod says it was specifically designed with conflicting features, for example, Rev. Lovejoy wearing Anglican robes with a Catholic collar. Eventually it was labeled as a fake denomination, "the Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism."
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' went in the opposite direction and has an amalgamated world church that [[InterfaithSmoothie merges every religion together]].

[[AC:RealLife]]
* TruthInTelevision. Many chapels in RealLife hospitals, airports, and other public facilities play this trope straight, to accommodate the needs of multiple denominations.
* BenjaminFranklin wrote about a building designed to accommodate preachers of all religions in his [[http://www.earlyamerica.com/lives/franklin/chapt10/ autobiography]]. This building was created after a wandering Irish preacher was forbidden to preach in existing churches and had to preach outside, drawing huge crowds. Franklin said that "even if the Mufti of [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Constantinople]] were to send a missionary to preach [[{{UsefulNotes/Islam}} Mohammedanism]] to us, he would find a pulpit at his service." He might've been exaggerating a bit (colonial Pennsylvania had what was then a very progressive guarantee of religious freedom, but only monotheists had any rights and only Christians could hold office; only Rhode Island had an absolute guarantee of religious freedom before the Revolution), but the point was well taken.
* Unitarian Universalism allows people of any religion or of no religion to be a part of their community and their churches are designed to reflect this.
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