In general terms, sects can be defined as derivations from mainstream conventional movements or from the mainstream religious establishments and faith traditions. A sect is a group of individuals who have separated from the larger community, who are nonconformists by disposition, and who adhere to somewhat different beliefs and observances (usually labeled as heretical).

On the other hand, cults can be perceived as small groups of people with strange ways of life, beliefs, and rites and who are totally devoted to a particular system, object, or figure, including an intense loyalty to the leaders and founders of their group. A cult can be a deviant social unit or quasi-religious organization with exclusive ideology and skewed practices, using deceitful and manipulative psychosocial strategies to recruit new members ...

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