The crowd was thrilled. The clapping of 10,000 hands caused Quasimodo’s only eye to sparkle with joy. “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! ” the mob repeated. Esmeralda opened her eyes and looked at Quasimodo. For a moment, she was horror stricken at the sight. But she realized that she was safe. Even gypsies knew that churches were places of sanctuary. Escaped prisoners could avoid their punishments as long as they stayed inside. Quasimodo quickly closed the door and carried Esmeralda to the bell tower. There, he held her up to the sky. The people in the crowd below again greeted him with applause. And again he shouted, in that voice he rarely used and could never hear, “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! Sanctuary! ”
Dose it mean: every churches has a safe room and as long as guilty persons are inside that room are safe?
Or it just mean that churches are sacred places?