Many known European churches have gargoyles. In South Africa I still have to discover a church with gargoyles.
“Legend has it that a dragon-like creature named La Gargouille terrorized the people of Rouen, France. In the seventh century A.D., a local cleric named Romanus used Christian symbolism to neutralize La Gargouille’s threat to the townspeople—it’s said that Romanus destroyed the beast with the sign of the cross. Many early Christians were led to their religion by the fear of the gargoyle, a symbol of Satan. The Christian church became a protective haven for the mostly illiterate people.
Romanus knew the legends that the townspeople of Rouen did not know. The oldest gargoyles have been found in present-day Egypt from the Fifth Dynasty, c. 2400 B.C. The functional and practical waterspout has also been found in ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Gargoyles in the shape of dragons are found in China’s Forbidden City and imperial tombs from the Ming Dynasty”. – Source: “Gargoyle” entry by Lisa A. Reilly, The Dictionary of Art, Vol 12, Jane Turner, ed., Grove, 1996, pp. 149-150