Membership of established mainstream churches has dropped
dramatically. However affiliation with other religious organisations
(including penticostal, Seventh-Day Adventists and Christian sects)
has risen just as noticeably. It is estimated that there may now be as
many as 25,000 new religious groups n Europe alone.
In attempting to classify new religious movements, Wallis identified
three main kinds of NRM. World rejecting, world affirming, and world
World affirming groups are usually individualistic, life-positive and
aim to release human potentials. They tend to accept the world as it
is, but involves techniques, which enable the individual to
participate more effectively and gain more from their worldly
experience. Research suggests that these are more common amongst
middle-aged, middle class groups- often disillusioned and disenchanted
with material values and in search of new positive meanings.
World affirming sects appeal to those who are likely to have finished
education, are married, have children and have a mortgage. Weber had
suggested the modern world is one in which rationality dominates- this
is, one in which magical, unpredictable and ecstatic experiences are
uncommon. Further more, there is a tremendous pressure to become
materially, emotionally and sexually successful. According to Bird,
world-affirming sects provide a spiritual component in an increasingly
rationalised world. They provide techniques and knowledge to help
people become wealthy, powerful and successful. They provide
techniques and knowledge,...
... middle of paper ...
...ief system that makes sense to them. However some people
would argue that this is still deprivation, as people are deprived of
a reason for existence and so turn to NRMs for the answer.
Deprivation such as a lack of prestige or housing can be defined as
relative. This is where the persons expectations are not fulfilled to
a position they feel they deserve.
People may be attracted to an NRM because it offers something lacking
in their spiritual or emotional fulfilment. Members may gain
self-respect and a sense of community.
In light of the evidence above almost all of the factors lean in
agreement with the view that people join NRMs because they feel
deprived of something in their life that they believe can be fulfilled
from an NRM, whether it be a sense of community, self worth or even a
reason for existence.
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