The destructive role of sects in the 20th and 21st centuries — a civilizational and political issue
In the 20th century some symptoms of a religious crisis were observed, as well as the decrease of faith and the increase of moral relativism. At the same time, an interest in the eastern mysticism and psycho-spiritual groups of development could be seen among people. The outcome of this process is an ongoing, quantitative growth of sects and pseudo-religious movements operating under false pretences of human spiritual development and ensuring religious freedom. In turn, in the political area, a crisis of ideology, degradation of politicians’ authority, fading of political parties’ identity and weakening of their importance were observed. The crisis of modern philosophy and the language itself as well as interpersonal communication released fascination with gnosis, led to the debasement of the meaning of classical culture and started an interest in technology, production of goods and services. Therefore, classical concepts of independence, dignity, diligence acquired a new meaning. The causes of sects’ emergence in the USA, Europe and the Th ird World Countries are different, for instance, poverty, searching new values and transcendence, the need for belonging, experiencing something extraordinary, the need for vision and spiritual resting on mystery. It is mostly young people who are recruited to sects, they are lost, going through the crisis of faith and the sects offer them understanding and common experiences. To enhance their influence, sects deal with political and charitable activity, arms trade, drugs; they are also involved in terrorist activities. Using indoctrination, they pose a threat to the family, the society and the institutions of the state, while the lack of clear definitions, ‘religious freedom’ and the liberal law favour sects’ development, whose activity only deepens the secularization of life and leads to the increase of pathology in the contemporary world.