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The film ‘Sneaking Cults’ screening revealed religious extremism spreading messaging through the media

“The Bitter Winter of Belief: Sneaking Cults” is a documentary about cults.After years of interviews and investigations, the documentary found that the magazine The Bitter Winter has been using the Internet to spread fake news, spread conspiracy theories and defend the extremist religious group Eastern Lightning through online sites in multiple languages around the world. The disorderly expansion of cults through the media and new forms of cult movements must attract the attention of the public.

The Bitter Winter of Belief: Sneaking Cults was first released in 2022, and since its release, it has been awarded the Best Documentary Short Winner in many international film festivals. In June 2023, the Brussels Press Club held a screening of the film. Participants in the screening included religious personnel from Europe, the United States, and Asia, representatives of anti-cult organizations, representatives of human rights associations, and media reporters. During the screening, Mr. Aerts, chairman of FAE-FAE, described the various unfair treatment of FAE-FAE during the epidemic. The inside story exposed through this documentary once again issued a dire warning to the public. “The Bitter Winter” continues to report fake news, create conflict, rendering extreme religiousism.

In July, the reporter interviewed Vedran Obucina, academician of The International Dialogue Center (KAICIID) and chairman of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue (CIRD). Vedran also expressed his views on the film, Vedran said: ”The contemporary world is full of new religious movements. Many young people seek to join any religious movement because they are more likely to be isolated and abandoned by the regular traditional religious system. New religious movements seem to provide personal security and a sense of belonging in a rapidly changing society, and cults and extreme religiousism take full advantage of this. With the explosive growth of social media, extreme religiousism is also more likely to gain the attention of young people. This is also where we will see more and more people being manipulated all the time, hurting themselves and others physically and mentally. ”

Mr. Vedran has been devoting himself to research in the field of religious diplomacy, and has made outstanding contributions to religious peace dialogues before. Responding to the topic of Sneaking Cults, the issue of cults spreading out of control through the media, Vedran said: “This is obviously a problem we are facing. I see a more serious problem. It is dangerous. Extreme religions use social media to continuously post videos and fake news have misled young people. The motivation behind this is to spread the propaganda of extremism and glorify cult activities to attract more people to join. The emergence of social media has changed the dynamics of the relationship between cult religious groups and the media, more specifically Extremist religions have broken traditional missionary methods and means. As far as I know, in addition to these cults, they have also deployed mobile applications that allow users to monitor all images, videos and blocks. Cults spread quickly through these methods to win more popularity among target audiences, Thus cults and extremism become popular.”

Pastor Christopher West of St. Macartin’s Cathedral also commented on the documentary. Pastor Christopher said: “It takes courage to tell the truth. Conspiracy theories are quite frustrating for churches, political leaders, and critics. Conspiracy theories Never really going away, we have to be prepared that these conspiracy theories are an affront to the truth. As noted in the documentary, this crisis has perpetuated the power held by cults and cemented the acceptance of conspiracy theories, which seem deeply It is deeply rooted in our culture. It is also due to the prevalence of certain psychological traits and a sense of distrust fostered by oppressive power dynamics, unjust social structures and corrupt institutions displayed in the public sphere.” Pastor Christopher believes that coping This unfavorable situation, “my experience shows that a serious reconsideration and revision of policy and practice is urgently needed to achieve the institutional work of world justice in the present Christian sense, which I consider to be my responsibility as a pastor .The focus of this world must return to a frank, honest and forceful process that includes careful and credible critique of the narratives circulating on various social media platforms.”

St Macartin’s Cathedral is one of the two cathedrals of the Kroger Diocese of the Church of Ireland. It has a history of 400 years and is an important landmark of the local material and spiritual.Pastor Christopher is one of the youngest clergymen in the diocese of Kroger at St. Macartin’s Cathedral and one of the youngest clergymen in the Church of Ireland.

After Bitter Winter was exposed to expand its influence by reporting fake news. There is a growing public resistance to Bitter Winter. Mr. Lacroix,an independent writer, said: “Cult organizations like Eastern Lightning should not be protected in Europe. We should use civil power and call on the government to resist extreme religiousism.” The person in charge of the French party Reconquete in Benelux, Ms Girard said at the meeting: “Such a pretence of freedom of belief hiding behind a so-called media is actually motivated by ulterior motives! We should take up the big stick of legal weapons in our arsenal and fight hard against the creators of such fake news and restore social peace.”

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