The phenomenon behind new religious movements (NRMs) is, arguably, not new, since NRM is concerned with a groups of religious bodies or movements that entail an isolated and particular set of attributes, that have been assigned to the fringes of the dominant religious culture and by elements within the secular culture, in context of a set of religious movements that exist in a relatively contested society as a whole. It has been observed that [m]any religious movements were born and prospered, either as the development of well-known religious traditions or as the result of a syncretic approach to different religions. In many cases their doctrines and practices differed widely from those of the mainstream religions: moreover, the closed structure of some of these groups, the unconventional behavior of their members, and some tragic events in which they were involved gave rise to considerable social alarm (Ferrari, 2006, p.2). Thus, the NRMs have in many cases appropriated the anti-systemic feelings in an efficient manner and have successfully channelized into themselves in order to achieve their (un)declared goals vis–vis legitimate social and political institutions.
II. When Religion Returns to a Haunted New World Order
Interestingly, NRMs are often identified as ‘sect’ in a number of European languages (secure in French, settle in Italian, sea in Spanish, Sekte in German) (Ferrari, 2006, p.2). Mostly, such sects are formed by a group of dissenters who separated from a larger religious group and popularly indicated as a collection of a narrow-minded and fanatical group of people (ibid, p.2).