From Cult to Religion

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What’s the difference between a cult and a religion? This question is not easily answered. Is it the age, how old it is in relation to newness? How about the size, how many fellow believers does it have? Or what about its’ popularity does that differentiate a cult from religion? According to the online dictionary by Merriam-Webster the definition of a religion is “the belief in a god or in a group of gods: an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods: an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group” (“Religion”). This same dictionary defines a Cult as “a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous: a situation in which people admire and care about something or someone very much or too much: a small group of very devoted supporters or fans” (“Cult”). So when is a cult just a cult or when does this cult become classified as a religion? The age old question of time. Throughout history evidence shows that there has always been some type of religious worship dating back thousands of years, to some of the first ever known ancient societies. When you look at two very well known ancient societies the Greeks and the Romans they both worshipped many Gods. The Greeks worshipped such known Gods as Zues, Poseidon, Hades and Apollo, just to name a few. These same Gods were known as Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, and Apollo to the Romans of old. Religion then is old by definition. What about today, what are some of the modern day religions? While there are many, some of the more popular ones are Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Muslim, and the most common western... ... middle of paper ... ... people to choose who or what, they worship and have faith in. So then these so called cults when new and unknown will grow and flourish becoming its own religion in due time. Be ready world I don’t think we have seen the end of new religions. The greatest thing about life itself the freedom to worship. Works Citied "Cults." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 187-189. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 5 Feb. 2014. “Cults.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. "Religion." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. Watts, Jill. "Cults." Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd ed. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 476-478. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 5 Feb. 2014.eb. 2014

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