Minority religions, not only New Religious Movements, are explored in this innovative book including the predicament of ancient religions such as Zoroastrianism, ‘old new’ religions such as Baha’i, and traditional religions that are minorities elsewhere. The book is divided into two parts: the gathering of data on religious minorities ("mapping"), and the ways in which governments and interest groups respond to them ("monitoring"). The international group examine which new religions exist in particular countries, what their uptake is, and how allegiance can be ascertained. They explore a range of issues faced by minority religions, encompassing official state recognition and registration, unequal treatment in comparison with a dominant religion, how changes in government can affect how they fare, the extent to which members are free to practise their faith, how they sometimes seek to influence politics, and how they can be affected by harassment and persecution.
Bringing together debates concerning the social and political issues facing new religions in Europe and the Middle East, this collection extends its focus to Middle Eastern minority faiths, enabling exposition of spiritual movements such as the Gülen Movement, Paganism in Israel, and the Zoroastrians in Tehran.