An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices and votive offerings are made for religious purposes, or some other sacred place where ceremonies take place. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship. Today they are used particularly in the religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Taoism, as well as Christianity, LaVeyan Satanism, Thelema, Neopaganism, and in Ceremonial magic. Judaism did so until the destruction of the Second Temple. Many historical faiths also made use of them, including Greek and Norse religion.
Altars occupy a prominent place in the sanctuaries of many churches, especially those belonging to the ancient Christian traditions, such as the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian, Roman Catholic, and Anglican Churches. They are also found in many Protestant worship places. It plays a central role in the celebration of the Eucharist. A priest (or minister in Protestant circles) celebrates at the altar, on which the bread and the wine are placed.