Niche Spirituality: 45 Intriguing Facts About Rare and Obscure Religious Sects 2

26Neturei Karta: Opposing Zionism, Peaceful Dismantling

Neturei Karta: Opposing Zionism, Peaceful Dismantling

Neturei Karta is a sect of Judaism that opposes Zionism and advocates for the peaceful dismantling of the State of Israel, believing that Jews are forbidden to establish their own state until the arrival of the Jewish Messiah.

27. The Five-Percent Nation is a sect within Islam. It holds the belief that Asian black people are the originators of humanity and considers Asian black men to be personifications of God.

28. The Bogomils were a Christian Gnostic sect that regarded the material world as Satan's creation. They held anti-natalist, anti-materialist, anti-tax, and anarchist beliefs, rejecting the notion of marriage as a sacrament.

29. Ibadi, Oman's principal Islamic sect, follows a traditional method of mediation that has long been employed to resolve internal conflicts between tribes, address domestic grievances, and even engage in external diplomacy.

30. The Abecedarians were a religious group from the 16th century who rejected all forms of learning, including theology, on the belief that God would provide them with enlightenment and that learning would only interfere.

31Samaritans: Gene Pool Diversification Efforts

Samaritans: Gene Pool Diversification Efforts

The Samaritans were a religious group consisting of approximately 800 individuals who sought to diversify their gene pool and prevent inbreeding by importing mail order brides from Ukraine.

32. The 'Way of the Five Pecks of Rice' was a Chinese religious group that played a significant role in initiating the Yellow Turban Rebellion, a peasant revolt resulting in the deaths of 3-7 million people.

33. The Albigenses were a Christian religious sect during the Middle Ages whose members believed that the god of the Old Testament was, in fact, the devil.

34. Karaite Jews, an ancient sect originating from Turkic countries, appealed to the Nazis in 1934, requesting exemption from anti-Semitic laws based on their legal status as Russians, thus sparing them from the horrors of the Holocaust despite their full Jewish heritage.

35. The Sicarii, an extremist splinter group of Judaism, aimed to expel invaders from Judea using concealed daggers before Jerusalem's destruction in 70 CE. They resorted to acts of violence, employing their weapons covertly as a means of resistance.

36Mustached Kakais: Ancient Iraqi Sect

Mustached Kakais: Ancient Iraqi Sect

The Kakais, an ancient pre-Islamic sect in Iraq, are recognizable by their giant mustaches.

37. The Alawites, a Muslim sect, hold beliefs in reincarnation and a Trinity and possess secret holy texts that are inaccessible to outsiders.

38. The Mandaeans of Iraq, claiming descent from Seth, son of Adam, consider themselves the last followers of John the Baptist and potentially the last surviving Gnostic sect. The Mandeans have decreased in number over time despite Saddam Hussein protecting them due to their connection to ancient Babylonian heritage.

39. In 1960s Latin America, an influential sect of Trotskyists espoused the belief that nuclear war was desirable as the sole means to dismantle capitalism. They anticipated the arrival of alien space communists on UFOs to facilitate the establishment of revolutionary socialism on Earth. Fidel Castro vehemently denounced them as "pestilential."

40. The Palmarian Church emerged after Andalusian schoolgirls reported a sighting of the Virgin Mary on a tree. A subsequent claim by an insurance broker of a visitation by the Virgin Mary led to the foundation of this ultra-conservative Catholic sect. The Palmarian Church enforces strict rules, including prohibitions on wearing shorts and celebrating Santa, while idolizing Franco and Hitler.

41Ranters: Celebrating God through Indulgence

Ranters: Celebrating God through Indulgence

The Ranters, a small Christian sect, celebrated God by indulging in activities such as drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual acts.

42. The Gospel of the Ebionites was a Jewish Christian sect that believed Jesus was the adopted Son of God and preached vegetarianism.

43. Elements of the ancient Mesopotamian religion, which originated in the 6th millennium B.C., may have persisted until the early 20th century. The Shamsiyah, a sect of sun-worshippers, maintained their existence in southeastern Turkey, sometimes outwardly adopting Christian customs, until the early 1900s.

44. In 2011, a Korean sect known as the "Good News Mission" deceived approximately 400 teachers with a recruitment scheme promising English teaching positions in Mexico. However, these turned out to be lectures where guards forced visitors to participate in activities and physically punished them for infractions like being late.

45. In 1991, a self-proclaimed reincarnation of Jesus Christ named Vissarion established a sect with thousands of followers who formed an isolated community in a remote Siberian village. Promising the impending end of the world, the cult leader preached teachings centered around reincarnation and veganism.