new religious movement (NRM)

Any religion originating in recent centuries having characteristic traits including eclecticism and syncretism, a leader who claims extraordinary powers, and a "countercultural" aspect.

Regarded as outside the mainstream of society, NRMs in the West are extremely diverse but include millennialist movements (e.g., the Jehovah's Witnesses), Westernized Hindu or Buddhist movements (e.g., the Hare Krishna movement), so-called "scientific" groups (e.g., Scientology), and nature religions (see Neo-Paganism). In the East they include China's 19th-century Taiping movement (see Taiping rebellion) and present-day Falun Gong movement, Japan's Tenrikyo and PL Kyodan, and Korea's Ch'ondogyo and Unification Church. Some NRMs fade away or meet tragic ends; others, such as the Mormon church, eventually become accepted as mainstream.

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Universalium. 2010.

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