In modern English, the term cult has come to refer to a social group defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study, it is considered pejorative. In the sociological classifications of religious movements, a cult is a social group with deviant or novel beliefs and practices, although this is unclear. Other researchers present a less-organized picture of cults, saying that they arise spontaneously around novel beliefs and practices. Groups said to be cults range in size from local groups with a few members to international organizations with millions. An older sense of the word cult—covered in a different article—is a set of religious devotional practices that are conventional within their culture and related to a particular figure, associated with a particular place.
References to the "cult" of, for example, a particular Catholic saint, or the imperial cult of ancient Rome, use this sense of the word. Beginning in the 1930s, cults became the object of sociological study in the context of the study of religious behavior. From the 1940s the Christian countercult movement has opposed some sects and new religious movements, it labelled them as cults for their "un-Christian" unorthodox beliefs; the secular anti-cult movement began in the 1970s and it opposed certain groups charging them with mind control and motivated in reaction to acts of violence committed by some of their members. Some of the claims and actions of the anti-cult movement have been disputed by scholars and by the news media, leading to further public controversy; the term "new religious movement" refers to religions. Many, but not all of them, have been considered to be cults. Sub-categories of cults include: Doomsday cults, personality cults, political cults, destructive cults, racist cults, polygamist cults, terrorist cults.
Various national governments have reacted to cult-related issues in different ways, this has sometimes led to controversy. English-speakers used the word "cult" not to describe a group of religionists, but to refer to the act of worship or to a religious ceremony; the English term originated in the early 17th century, borrowed via the French culte, from the Latin noun cultus. The word derived from the Latin adjective cultus, based on the verb colere. While the literal original sense of the word in English remains in use, a derived sense of "excessive devotion" arose in the 19th century; the terms cult and cultist came into use in medical literature in the United States in the 1930s for what would now be termed "faith healing" as practised in the US Holiness movement. This usage experienced a surge of popularity at the time, extended to other forms of alternative medicine as well. In the English-speaking world the word "cult" carries derogatory connotations, it has always been controversial because it is considered a subjective term, used as an ad hominem attack against groups with differing doctrines or practices.
In the 1970s, with the rise of secular anti-cult movements, scholars began abandoning the term "cult". According to The Oxford Handbook of Religious Movements, "by the end of the decade, the term'new religions' would replace'cult' to describe all of those leftover groups that did not fit under the label of church or sect."Sociologist Amy Ryan has argued for the need to differentiate those groups that may be dangerous from groups that are more benign. Ryan notes the sharp differences between definition from cult opponents, who tend to focus on negative characteristics, those of sociologists, who aim to create definitions that are value-free; the movements themselves may have different definitions of religion as well. George Chryssides cites a need to develop better definitions to allow for common ground in the debate. In Defining Religion in American Law, Bruce J. Casino presents the issue as crucial to international human rights laws. Limiting the definition of religion may interfere with freedom of religion, while too broad a definition may give some dangerous or abusive groups "a limitless excuse for avoiding all unwanted legal obligations".
Religion scholar Megan Goodwin defined the term cult when used by laymen as being a shorthand that means a "religion I don't like". A new religious movement is a religious community or spiritual group of modern origins, which has a peripheral place within its society's dominant religious culture. NRMs can be novel in origin or part of a wider religion, in which case they are distinct from pre-existing denominations. In 1999 Eileen Barker estimated that NRMs, of which some but not all have been labelled as cults, number in the tens of thousands worldwide, most of which originated in Asia or Africa. In 2007 the religious scholar Elijah Siegler commented that, although no NRM had become the dominant faith in any country, many of the concepts which they had first introduced have become part of worldwide mainstream culture. Sociologist Max Weber found that cults based on charismatic leadership follow the routinization of charisma; the concept of a "cult" as a sociological classification was introduced in 1932 by American sociologist Howard P. Becker as a
Quakers called Friends, are a Christian group of religious movements formally known as the Religious Society of Friends, Society of Friends or Friends Church. Members of the various Quaker movements are all united in a belief in the ability of each human being to experientially access "the light within", or "that of God in every one"; some may profess the priesthood of all believers, a doctrine derived from the First Epistle of Peter. They include those with evangelical, holiness and traditional Quaker understandings of Christianity. There are Nontheist Quakers whose spiritual practice is not reliant on the existence of gods. To differing extents, the different movements that make up the Religious Society of Friends/Friends Church avoid creeds and hierarchical structures. In 2007, there were about 359,000 adult Quakers worldwide. In 2017, there were 377,557 adult Quakers, with 49% in Africa. Around 89% of Quakers worldwide belong to the "evangelical" and "programmed" branches of Quakerism—these Quakers worship in services with singing and a prepared message from the Bible, coordinated by a pastor.
Around 11% of Friends practice waiting worship, or unprogrammed worship, where the order of service is not planned in advance, is predominantly silent, may include unprepared vocal ministry from those present. Some meetings of both types have Recorded Ministers in their meetings—Friends recognised for their gift of vocal ministry; the first Quakers lived in mid-17th-century England. The movement arose from the Legatine-Arians and other dissenting Protestant groups, breaking away from the established Church of England; the Quakers the ones known as the Valiant Sixty, attempted to convert others to their understanding of Christianity, travelling both throughout Great Britain and overseas, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of these early Quaker ministers were women, they based their message on the religious belief that "Christ has come to teach his people himself", stressing the importance of a direct relationship with God through Jesus Christ, a direct religious belief in the universal priesthood of all believers.
They emphasized a personal and direct religious experience of Christ, acquired through both direct religious experience and the reading and studying of the Bible. Quakers focused their private life on developing behaviour and speech reflecting emotional purity and the light of God. In the past, Quakers were known for their use of thee as an ordinary pronoun, refusal to participate in war, plain dress, refusal to swear oaths, opposition to slavery, teetotalism; some Quakers founded banks and financial institutions, including Barclays and Friends Provident. In 1947, the Quakers, represented by the British Friends Service Council and the American Friends Service Committee, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. During and after the English Civil War many dissenting Christian groups emerged, including the Seekers and others. A young man, George Fox, was dissatisfied with the teachings of the Church of England and non-conformists, he had a revelation that "there is one Christ Jesus, who can speak to thy condition", became convinced that it was possible to have a direct experience of Christ without the aid of an ordained clergy.
In 1652 he had a vision on Pendle Hill in Lancashire, England, in which he believed that "the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered". Following this he travelled around England, the Netherlands, Barbados preaching and teaching with the aim of converting new adherents to his faith; the central theme of his Gospel message was. His followers considered themselves to be the restoration of the true Christian church, after centuries of apostasy in the churches in England. In 1650, Fox was brought before the magistrates Gervase Bennet and Nathaniel Barton, on a charge of religious blasphemy. According to Fox's autobiography, Bennet "was the first that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord", it is thought that Fox was referring to Isaiah 66:2 or Ezra 9:4. Thus, the name Quaker began as a way of ridiculing Fox's admonition, but became accepted and is used by some Quakers. Quakers described themselves using terms such as true Christianity, Children of the Light, Friends of the Truth, reflecting terms used in the New Testament by members of the early Christian church.
Quakerism gained a considerable following in England and Wales, the numbers increased to a peak of 60,000 in England and Wales by 1680. But the dominant discourse of Protestantism viewed the Quakers as a blasphemous challenge to social and political order, leading to official persecution in England and Wales under the Quaker Act 1662 and the Conventicle Act 1664; this was relaxed after the Declaration of Indulgence and stopped under the Act of Toleration 1689. One modern view of Quakerism at this time was that the relationship with Christ was encouraged through spiritualisation of human relations, "the redefinition of the Quakers as a holy tribe,'the family and household of God'". Together with Margaret Fell, the wife of Thomas Fell, the vice-chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and an eminent judge, Fox developed new conceptions of family and community that emphasised "holy conversation": speech and behaviour that reflected piety and love. With the restructuring of the family and household came new roles for wom
Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, worldviews, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, commemoration or veneration, festivals, trances, funerary services, matrimonial services, prayer, art, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, symbols and holy places, that aim to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, other things.
Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs. There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion; the religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs; the study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief. Religion is derived from the ultimate origins of which are obscure. One possible interpretation traced to Cicero, connects lego read, i.e. re with lego in the sense of choose, go over again or consider carefully.
The definition of religio by Cicero is cultum deorum, "the proper performance of rites in veneration of the gods." Julius Caesar used religio to mean "obligation of an oath" when discussing captured soldiers making an oath to their captors. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder used the term religio on elephants in that they venerate the sun and the moon. Modern scholars such as Tom Harpur and Joseph Campbell favor the derivation from ligare bind, connect from a prefixed re-ligare, i.e. re + ligare or to reconnect, made prominent by St. Augustine, following the interpretation given by Lactantius in Divinae institutiones, IV, 28; the medieval usage alternates with order in designating bonded communities like those of monastic orders: "we hear of the'religion' of the Golden Fleece, of a knight'of the religion of Avys'". In the ancient and medieval world, the etymological Latin root religio was understood as an individual virtue of worship in mundane contexts. In general, religio referred to broad social obligations towards anything including family, neighbors and towards God.
Religio was most used by the ancient Romans not in the context of a relation towards gods, but as a range of general emotions such as hesitation, anxiety, fear. The term was closely related to other terms like scrupulus which meant "very precisely" and some Roman authors related the term superstitio, which meant too much fear or anxiety or shame, to religio at times; when religio came into English around the 1200s as religion, it took the meaning of "life bound by monastic vows" or monastic orders. The compartmentalized concept of religion, where religious things were separated from worldly things, was not used before the 1500s; the concept of religion was first used in the 1500s to distinguish the domain of the church and the domain of civil authorities. In the ancient Greece, the Greek term threskeia was loosely translated into Latin as religio in late antiquity; the term was sparsely used in classical Greece but became more used in the writings of Josephus in the first century CE. It was used in mundane contexts and could mean multiple things from respectful fear to excessive or harmfully distracting practices of others.
It was contrasted with the Greek word deisidaimonia which meant too much fear. The modern concept of religion, as an abstraction that entails distinct sets of beliefs or doctrines, is a recent invention in the English language; such usage began with texts from the 17th century due to events such the splitting of Christendom during the Protestant Reformation and globalization in the age of exploration, which involved contact with numerous foreign cultures with non-European languages. Some argue that regardless of its definition, it is not appropriate to apply the term religion to non-Western cultures. Others argue that using religion on non-western cultures distorts what people believe; the concept of religion was formed in the 16th and 17th centuries, despite the fact that ancient sacred texts like the Bible, the Quran, others did not have a word or a concept of religion in the original languages and neither did the peopl
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding
The Moravian Church, formally named the Unitas Fratrum, in German known as Brüdergemeine, is one of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world, with its heritage dating back to the Bohemian Reformation in the 15th century and the Unity of the Brethren established in the Kingdom of Bohemia. The name by which the denomination is known comes from the original exiles who fled to Saxony in 1722 from Moravia to escape religious persecution, but its heritage began in 1457 in Bohemia and its crown lands forming an autonomous kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire; the modern Unitas Fratrum, with about one million members worldwide, continues to draw on traditions established during the 18th century. The Moravians continue their tradition of missionary work, such as in the Caribbean, as is reflected in their broad global distribution, they place high value on ecumenism, personal piety and music. The Moravian Church's emblem is the Lamb of God with the flag of victory, surrounded by the Latin inscription: Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur.
The Hussite movement, to become the Moravian Church was started by Jan Hus in early 15th century Bohemia, in what is today the Czech Republic. Hus objected to some of the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Since these actions predate the Protestant Reformation by a century, some historians claim the Moravian Church was the first Protestant church; the movement gained support in the Crown of Bohemia. However, Hus was summoned to attend the Council of Constance, which decided that he was a heretic and had him burned at the stake on 6 July 1415. From 1419 to 1437 were a series of Hussite Wars between various Catholic rulers and the Hussites, the political situation continued into a Hussite civil war between the more compromising Utraquists and the radical Taborites. In 1434, an army of Utraquists and Catholics defeated the Taborites at the Battle of Lipany; the Utraquists signed the Compacts of Basel on 5 July 1436. Within fifty years of Hus' death, a contingent of his followers had become independently organised as the "Bohemian Brethren" or Unity of the Brethren, founded in Kunvald, Bohemia, in 1457.
A brother known as Gregory the Patriarch was influential in forming the group, as well as the teachings of Peter Chelcicky. This group held to a strict obedience to the Sermon on the Mount, which included non-swearing of oaths, non-resistance, not accumulating wealth; because of this, they considered themselves separate from the majority Hussites that did not hold those teachings. They received episcopal ordination through the Waldensians in 1467; these were some of the earliest Protestants, rebelling against Rome some fifty years before Martin Luther. By the middle of the 16th century as many as 90 per cent of the inhabitants of the Bohemian Crown were Protestant; the majority of the nobility was Protestant, the schools and printing-shops established by the Moravian Church were flourishing. Protestantism had a strong influence in the education of the population. In the middle of the 16th century there was not a single town without a Protestant school in the Bohemian crown lands, many had more than one with two to six teachers each.
In Jihlava, a principal Protestant center in Moravia, there were five major schools: two German, one Czech, one for girls and one teaching in Latin, at the level of a high/grammar school, lecturing on Latin and Hebrew, Dialectics, fundamentals of Philosophy and fine arts, as well as religion according to the Lutheran Augustana. With the University of Prague firmly in hands of Protestants, the local Catholic church was unable to compete in the field of education. Therefore, the Jesuits were invited, with the backing of the Catholic Habsburg rulers, to come to the Bohemian Crown and establish a number of Catholic educational institutions. One of these is the university in the Moravian capital of Olomouc. In 1582 they forced closure of local Protestant schools. In 1617, Emperor Matthias had his fiercely Catholic brother Ferdinand of Styria elected King of Bohemia, but in 1618 Protestant Bohemian noblemen, who feared losing their religious freedom, started the Bohemian Revolt; the Revolt started by the unplanned second Defenestrations of Prague and was defeated in 1620 in the Battle of White Mountain near Prague.
As consequence the local Protestant noblemen were either executed or expelled from the country while the Habsburgs placed Catholic nobility in their place. The war and subsequent disruption led to a decline in the population from over 3 million to some 800,000 people. By 1622 the entire education system was in the hands of Jesuits and all Protestant schools were closed; the Brethren were forced to operate underground and dispersed across Northern Europe as far as the Low Countries, where their Bishop John Amos Comenius attempted to direct a resurgence. The largest remaining communities of the Brethren were located in Leszno in Poland, which had strong ties with the Czechs, small, isolated groups in Moravia; these latter are referred to as "the Hidden Seed" which John Amos Comenius had prayed would preserve the evangelical faith in the land of the fathe
An ethnic group or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, history, culture or nation. Ethnicity is an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, origin myth, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion and ritual, dressing style, art or physical appearance. Ethnic groups, derived from the same historical founder population continue to speak related languages and share a similar gene pool. By way of language shift, acculturation and religious conversion, it is sometimes possible for individuals or groups to leave one ethnic group and become part of another. Ethnicity is used synonymously with terms such as nation or people. In English, it can have the connotation of something exotic related to cultures of more recent immigrants, who arrived after the dominant population of an area was established; the largest ethnic groups in modern times comprise hundreds of millions of individuals, while the smallest are limited to a few dozen individuals.
Larger ethnic groups may be subdivided into smaller sub-groups known variously as tribes or clans, which over time may become separate ethnic groups themselves due to endogamy or physical isolation from the parent group. Conversely separate ethnicities can merge to form a pan-ethnicity and may merge into one single ethnicity. Whether through division or amalgamation, the formation of a separate ethnic identity is referred to as ethnogenesis; the term ethnic is derived from the Greek word ἔθνος ethnos. The inherited English language term for this concept is folk, used alongside the latinate people since the late Middle English period. In Early Modern English and until the mid-19th century, ethnic was used to mean heathen or pagan, as the Septuagint used ta ethne to translate the Hebrew goyim "the nations, non-Hebrews, non-Jews"; the Greek term in early antiquity could refer to any large group, a host of men, a band of comrades as well as a swarm or flock of animals. In Classical Greek, the term took on a meaning comparable to the concept now expressed by "ethnic group" translated as "nation, people".
In the 19th century, the term came to be used in the sense of "peculiar to a race, people or nation", in a return to the original Greek meaning. The sense of "different cultural groups", in American English "racial, cultural or national minority group" arises in the 1930s to 1940s, serving as a replacement of the term race which had earlier taken this sense but was now becoming deprecated due to its association with ideological racism; the abstract ethnicity had been used for "paganism" in the 18th century, but now came to express the meaning of an "ethnic character". The term ethnic group was first recorded in 1935 and entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1972. Depending on the context, used, the term nationality may either be used synonymously with ethnicity, or synonymously with citizenship; the process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis, a term in use in ethnological literature since about 1950. Depending on which source of group identity is emphasized to define membership, the following types of groups can be identified: Ethno-linguistic, emphasizing shared language, dialect – example: French Canadians Ethno-national, emphasizing a shared polity or sense of national identity – example: Armenians Ethno-racial, emphasizing shared physical appearance based on genetic origins – example: African Americans Ethno-regional, emphasizing a distinct local sense of belonging stemming from relative geographic isolation – example: South Islanders Ethno-religious, emphasizing shared affiliation with a particular religion, denomination or sect – example: JewsIn many cases – for instance, the sense of Jewish peoplehood – more than one aspect determines membership.
Ethnography begins in classical antiquity. The Greeks at this time did not describe foreign nations but had developed a concept of their own "ethnicity", which they grouped under the name of Hellenes. Herodotus gave a famous account of what defined Greek ethnic identity in his day, enumerating shared descent, shared language shared sanctuaries and sacrifices shared customs. Whether ethnicity qualifies as a cultural universal is to some extent dependent on the exact definition used. According to "Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and reality", in Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and Reality: Proceedings of the Joint Canada-United States Conference on the Measurement of Ethni
Haredi Judaism is a broad spectrum of groups within Orthodox Judaism, all characterized by a rejection of modern secular culture. Its members are referred to as Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox in English, although the term "ultra-Orthodox" is considered pejorative by many of its adherents. Haredim regard themselves as the most religiously authentic group of Jews, although this claim is contested by other streams. Haredi Judaism is a reaction to societal changes, including emancipation, the Haskalah movement derived from the Enlightenment, secularization, religious reform in all its forms from mild to extreme, the rise of the Jewish national movements, etc. In contrast to Modern Orthodox Judaism, which hastened to embrace modernity, the approach of the Haredim was to maintain a steadfast adherence both to Jewish Law and custom by segregating themselves from modern society. However, there are many Haredi communities in which getting a professional degree or establishing a business is encouraged, contact exists between Haredi and non-Haredi Jews, as well as between Haredim and non-Jews.
Haredi communities are found in Israel, North America, Western Europe. Their estimated global population numbers 1.5–1.8 million, due to a virtual absence of interfaith marriage and a high birth rate, their numbers are growing rapidly. Their numbers have been boosted by a substantial number of secular Jews adopting a Haredi lifestyle as part of the Baal teshuva movement; the term most used by outsiders, including most American news organizations, is "ultra-Orthodox" Judaism. Hillel Halkin suggests the origins of the term may date to the 1950s, a period in which Haredi survivors of the Holocaust first began arriving in America. However, Isaac Leeser was described in 1916 as "ultra-Orthodox". Haredi is a Modern Hebrew adjective derived from the Biblical verb hared which appears in the Book of Isaiah and is translated as " trembles" at the word of God; the word connotes an awe-inspired fear and anxiety to perform the will of God, is used to describe staunchly Orthodox Jews and to distinguish them from other Orthodox Jews.
The word Haredi is used in the Jewish diaspora in place of the term "ultra-Orthodox", which many view as inaccurate or offensive, it being seen as a derogatory term suggesting extremism. Others, dispute the characterization of the term as pejorative. Ari L. Goldman, a professor at Columbia University, notes that the term serves a practical purpose to distinguish a specific part of the Orthodox community, is not meant as pejorative. Others, such as Samuel Heilman, criticized terms such as "ultra-Orthodox" and "traditional Orthodox", arguing that they misidentify Haredim as more authentically Orthodox than others, as opposed to adopting customs and practises that reflect their desire to separate from the outside world; the community has sometimes been characterized as "Traditional Orthodox", in contradistinction to the Modern Orthodox, the other major branch of Orthodox Judaism. Haredi Jews use other terms to refer to themselves. Common Yiddish words include Yidn or erlekhe Yidn, Ben Torah and heimish.
In Israel, Haredi Jews are sometimes called by the derogatory slang words dos, that mimics the traditional Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation of the Hebrew word datim, meaning religious, more "blacks", a reference to the black clothes they wear. According to its adherents, the forebears of the contemporary Haredim were the traditionalists of Eastern Europe who fought against modernization. Indeed, adherents see their beliefs as part of an unbroken tradition dating from the revelation at Sinai. However, most historians of Orthodoxy consider Haredi Judaism, in its modern incarnation, to date back no earlier than the start of the 20th century. For centuries, before Jewish emancipation, European Jews were forced to live in ghettos where Jewish culture and religious observance were preserved. Change began in the wake of the Age of Enlightenment when some European liberals sought to include the Jewish population in the emerging empires and nation states; the influence of the Haskalah movement was evidence.
Supporters of the Haskalah held that Judaism must change in keeping with the social changes around them. Other Jews insisted on strict adherence to halakha. In Germany, the opponents of Reform rallied to Samson Raphael Hirsch, who led a secession from German Jewish communal organizations to form a Orthodox movement with its own network of synagogues and schools, his approach was to apply them in defence of Orthodoxy. In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jews true to traditional values gathered under the banner of Agudas Shlumei Emunei Yisroel. Moses Sofer was opposed to any philosophical, social, or practical change to customary Orthodox practice. Thus, he did not allow any secular studies to be added to the curriculum of his Pressburg Yeshiva. Sofer's student Moshe Schick, together with Sofer's sons Shimon and Samuel Benjamin, took an active role in arguing agai