Best practice for society in dealing with cults

Stephan P Pretorius

Abstract


Freedom of religion has challenges of its own. One particular aspect that presents a challenge is the nature of religion in the sense that the actions and practices of religion are not prescribed or measured by human criteria except that it may not be against the law. Another aspect that cannot be underestimated is the susceptibility of people when it comes to religion. Both these aspects create opportunity for abuse in religion. When members of society become aware of religious groups that are believed to be exploitive for selfish aims it creates tension between society and these groups. With no recognisable, credible organisation to turn to for assistance society tends to take matters in their own hands that mostly result in an even more fragile situation. A solution is to set up an information centre that can provide information to the public. It is important to align the approach of the centre with workable practices in other parts of the world that have been dealing with this issue for many years. Practices in some European countries are investigated and the best practices suitable for South Africa are determined and suggested.

Keywords


Cult; Sect; Information Centre on Cults; Freedom of Religion; Cult awareness

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5952/54-3-4-386

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ISSN 2226-2385 (online); ISSN 0028-2006 (print)

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