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Religious Communities

Religious communities can take many forms and exist on both large and small scales. Loosely, religious communities are groups of people who choose to affiliate themselves based on their religious beliefs and (usually) their geographic location. Religious communities often have a single public meeting place as their foundation (e.g., a church or a synagogue) but can be larger in scale as well (e.g., the far-flung and numerous parishes of the Catholic Church or churches headed by the Southern Baptist Convention). Live-in religious communities often involve submission to the greater community, putting them at odds with the individualism that is at the center of modern Western culture. For this reason, live-in religious communities, such as monasteries, cloisters, Amish communities, Mennonite communities, and religious cults, have captured ...

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