The field of new religious movements has been accepted by the religious studies mainstream as a legitimate field of study. However, the controversy over new religions is a complex social issue that has polarized observers into such extreme positions that it has been difficult to find a middle ground from which to approach the issue. The stories of two different religious groups are described to highlight some of the dilemmas associated with the controversy. The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, the Ugandan group massacred by its own leaders in 2000, is used to exemplify the concerns of “anticultists.” The Alamo Christian Foundation, an American ministry that has been the target of legal action, is used to exemplify the concerns of religious libertarians.
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