There are about 300-500 various religious sects in Russia. The number of people involved in destructive or occultist religious sects reaches one million. The majority of members are 18-27-year-old people.
Such data was disseminated during the "round table" Totalitarian Sects as Weapons of Mass Destruction conducted in Moscow on Tuesday. Leading psychologists, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, Interior Ministry and other state organs participated in the current discussion.
According to president of the Center for Religious Studies, doctor of philosophy and author of the term "totalitarian sect" Alexander Dvorkin, there are numerous active sects "imported from abroad" on the Russian territory, such as " scientologists, krishnaites, Jehovah witnesses and munites." Among domestics sects, Mr. Dvorkin mentions Bogorodichny Center (Moscow), Ashram Shambaly (Novosibirsk), Vissarion's sect (Krasnoyarsk region), Radasteya (the Urals region) and others.
"The most powerful and currently growing sect is Neo-Pentecost movement spread around the Urals region, Siberia and the Far East," Mr. Dvorkin stated. "As usual, Mormons and Jehovah witnesses are very active on the Russian territory." Other sects register equal inflow and outflow of members - people, destroyed financially, physically and morally, are simply thrown out after several years of membership.
According to experts, sects actively buy real estate, procure lobbying in local power structures, initiate court procedures on alleged violation of the freedom of conscience, trying to secure a more solid foothold in the Russian society. According to the definition provided by Mr. Dvorkin, a totalitarian sect is an authoritarian organization, which mainly covets political and financial gains, covering its real goals with pseudo-religious, pseudo-cultural and other devious slogans. Many psychological cults are also considered totalitarian sects.