Sects and cults

Sects and cults - other as legitimate churches (though...

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Sects and cults Sects  are smaller, less organized religious bodies of committed members. They  typically arise in protest to a larger denomination, like the Anglicans originally did to the  Roman church in the 1500s. They may have few or no leaders and little formal structure.  Convinced that they have “the truth” and that no one else does (especially not the  denomination against which they are protesting), sects actively seek new converts.  People are more likely to join sects than to be born into them.  As sects grow, they may mellow and become an institutional religious body instead of a  protesting group. If a sect survives over an extended period of time, it will probably  become a denomination. In contrast to sects, denominations normally recognize each 
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Unformatted text preview: other as legitimate churches (though doctrinally in error) and peacefully coexist. At first cults may resemble sects, but important differences exist. Cults, the most transient and informal of all religious groups, provide havens for people who reject the norms and values of larger society. Cultists may live separately or together in communes. Additionally, cults normally center around a charismatic leader who focuses on bringing together people of the same turn of mind. The potential for abuse and other problems in such environments has led American society to give much negative press to cults, although not all cults are necessarily abusive....
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