Abira, may God bless you in your journey to the fullness of Truth.
I agree that what we see in Catholic Churches around the world differs from what you find in the different Protestant faith communities. And, depending upon their histories of separation from the Catholic faith, depends upon the similarities (Canterbury Cathedral, for example).
Reading the early Church fathers would be helpful to understand their thought processes at, near, and prior to the life of Christ, as to the issue of idol worship. I suspect you will find that they well understood what that meant. Having clear examples of idol worship prevalent in their time, they had a frame of reference.
The catacombs, with their illustrations and prayers from the early Church give further clarification that the early Church was the Catholic Church.
I am amused (and saddened) by anti-Catholic websites where people completely lack any historical understanding of the Church. There are those that truly think Jesus went around handing out copies of the King James Version, because their pastor said so!
Early Church persecution did not come, and people were not willing to die, because the early Church sang some hymns, and read a scripture passage, that was talked about by the pastor. They were willing to risk their lives to come to receive the Body of Christ, the Eucharist.
The early Church fathers revered those that came before them, frequently martyrs, because as saints they served as models for themselves, and others in the future. Unfortunately in our modern society, where obedience is a vice, and licentiousness a virtue, we lack respect for reverence of others for virtuous reasons. We show reverence to sports stars who sleep around, use drugs, and needlessly slaughter animals. We frequently fail to show reverence to the sports star, or the butcher, who lives a life of fidelity and chastity and love of Jesus. And reverence, however, is not worship.