What is a sect?


What is a sect? Why do Orthodox call Protestants sectarians? Yet Orthodoxism, as well as Protestantism, is also a branch of Christianity?

Definition of Wikipedia

The Wikipedia encyclopedia gives the following definition:

SECT is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. They are described as newly formed religious groups that form to protest elements of their parent religion.


Usually, the word sect is attributed to a minority group who have been departed by a heresy and therefore, the words “heretic” and “sectarian” have the same meaning to people.

Not everyone called “sectarians” are heretics

Usually, some majority confession followers or leaders from a country tend to declare as sects and sectarians those who are in minority. Therefore, do not hurry to categorize as heretics all those who are often wrongly named or nicknamed “sectarians.” Not the number of followers decides whether a denomination is a sect or not, but the way it relates to the sound doctrine of the Lord Jesus. It is good to know what is the true Church and what are …

The features of the sects

There are many specific features of the sects, but I want to highlight a few of them:

  1. Sects (heretics) leave the sound doctrine of God’s Word and add other books usually written by their leader and they give them the same authority as to the Scripture, but in reality, they give those (heretical) writings more importance and listen to them more than the truth of the Scripture.
  2. Sects claim that they are the “only true church” and that everyone else is lost, will not be saved, do not have the Holy Spirit and will not inherit the kingdom of God. They talk and behave just like they have monopolized God’s kingdom.
  3. Sects are founded and run by totalitarian leaders who introduce and have excessive control over any victims trapped in that sect.

Why do Orthodox call Protestants sectarians?

Not all Orthodox Christians call and consider Protestants as heretics, but some call Christians of other denominations “sectarians” because they are in minority, because they are not Orthodox and especially because they do not accept as authority in matters of faith what the Orthodox Church calls Holy Tradition and about which it says that it has the same authority as the Scriptures. It is true that from Protestants and Orthodox and Catholics have detached many sects that believe and preach heresies, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Moonies, Mormons, Bessarion’s heresy, etc.

Study the Scriptures to be able to distinguish true Christians from heretics and the sound doctrine from the destructive heresies.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru