• Aleksandar Saša Matković Факултет за европске правно-политичке студије Нови Сад


new religious movements, religious extremism, terrorism, autodestruction, propaganda, tolerance, Council of Europe


In this paper the author examines the position of new religious movements (NRM) as a potential actors of extremist actions on the European continent. The first chapter is devoted to the general analysis of extremism associated with the NRM, together with the presentation of internationally most well known incidents. The second chapter contains analysis of the Council of Europe’s activities, as well as of the national strategies designed to combat the harmful effects of these movements. The final part is dedicated to the evaluation of the true nature and real range of criminal and self-destructive activities carried out by members of those religious groups. Among other things, author concludes that new religious movements hold limited potential for extremist actions of larger proportions. At the same time, he emphasizes the need for critical review of the actual motives of each individual extremist act of this kind, since the previous experience shows that the majority of criminal and other socially undesirable acts of members of the NRM are, in fact, not directly connected with the religious beliefs of their perpetrators, but with fundamentally different factors (socio-political, economic, psychosocial, etc).


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