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European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sectarianism

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Title: European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sectarianism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Union nationale des associations de défense des familles et de l'individu, The Family Survival Trust, Cult, Sectarianism, Opposition to new religious movements
Collection: Anti-Cult Organizations and Individuals, Government Opposition to New Religious Movements, Sectarianism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sectarianism

Organization logo
Formation 1994
Type Non-profit International nongovernmental organization
Purpose Coordinate organizations monitoring new religious movements
Headquarters France
Region served Europe
Membership 54 member organizations in 31 countries (2009)
Official language French, English
President Thomas Geoffrey Sackville[1]
Vice President Alexander Dvorkin
Website .orgfecris

FECRIS (Fédération Européenne des Centres de Recherche et d'Information sur le Sectarisme) – (French) European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sectarianism – is a French non-profit cults in Europe.


  • History 1
  • Analysis 2
  • Criticism 3
  • Notable representatives 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


FECRIS was formed as a French non-profit [6]

At a meeting held in Germany in 1996, the organization recommended perusing recent court decisions for information that could be of use to individuals involved in groups researched by FECRIS.[6] By 1999, FECRIS had established a website, located at[6] The organization's president, Jean Nokin, traveled with the vice president to a meeting of the [6]

As of 2003 the government of France provided funding to the organization.[9] In March 2005, the Council of Europe's Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly granted FECRIS advisory status.[6] In 2009, FECRIS was granted "ECOSOC Special Consultative Status" by the United Nations.[10]


FECRIS is described in the 2006 book Non-State Actors in the Human Rights Universe as "a transnational network of (state agencies created to deal with the "cult issue") anti-cult associations".[4] The A to Z of New Religious Movements by George D. Chryssides places FECRIS within the genre of the [13]

In 2014 participant organization of European Fundamental Rights Platform, the European Coordination of Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience created report about how FECRIS describes itself and what its representatives really say and do. Concluded, that "activities of FECRIS constitute a contravention of the principles of respect and tolerance of beliefs" and "it is in direct opposition to the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments".[14]


A 2012 special issue of Religion – Staat – Gesellschaft: Zeitschrift für Glaubensformen und Weltanschauungen ("Journal for the Study of Beliefs and Worldviews") was devoted to a case study of FECRIS; under the heading "Freedom of Religion or Belief: Anti-Sect Movements and State Neutrality" it collected six essays and a conclusion (by Willy Fautré, member of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies). Five of the essays discussed the activities of FECRIS in various countries (France, Russia, Austria, Germany, and Serbia). According to Regis Dericquebourg FECRIS pathologizes and criminalizes members of religious minorities, and falsely assigns "sect" status to religious minorities.[15]

According to attorney at law Patricia Duval, analysis of FECRIS activities shows that anti-sect affiliates in France characterize any minority religious or spiritual movement as "sectarian", consider conversion to them as "infridgement of human dignity", collect negative messages from family members who disagree with conversion, compile files based on unverified rumors used later to stigmatize movements, and receive financial support from French public institutions, placing in doubt the French government's neutrality regarding religious freedom.[16]

In his conclusion Fautré notes that FECRIS has remarkable associates in the various European countries: though they are founded on French secularism, they are associated in Russia with hard-line Orthodox clergy, and in Austria and Germany with the Catholic and Lutheran churches, "which desperately try to slow down the erosion of their membership and to keep their dominant position in society". The research proved, according to Fautré, that FECRIS and its associates deny freedom of religion, pressure parents of converts to new religious movements and impede the freedom to organize by such organizations, discriminate against new religious movements and stigmatize them through the media, spread rumors and lies, and focus only on smaller religious groups, not on larger institutionalized churches.[17]

Notable representatives

  • Jacques Richard – founder of ADFI in Le Mans, first President of FECRIS (1994–1999)[3]
  • Jean Nokin – President of FECRIS (1999–2004), co-organiser of the colloquium on "Cults and the Millennium" in 2000 with the American Family Foundation[3]
  • Friedrich Griess – President of FECRIS (2005–2009)[3]
  • Tom Sackville – Vice-President of FECRIS (2005) and current President of FECRIS (May 2009)[3]
  • Alexander Dvorkin – Vice-President of FECRIS since 2009[3]


  1. ^ "Antisectarian conference in St. Petersburg". Stetson University Russia Religion News. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Introduction". Fédération Européenne des Centres de Recherche et d'Information sur le Sectarisme. 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Regis Dericquebourg, A Case Study: FECRIS, Journal for the Study of Beliefs and Worldviews, 2012/2, p.183–189, ISBN 978-3-643-99894-1
  4. ^ a b Andreopoulos, George; Zehra Kabasakal Arat; Peter Juviler (2006). Non-State Actors in the Human Rights Universe.  
  5. ^ Kirby, Terry (27 March 2004). "Family's plea for cult awareness week after student died in a state of terror".  
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Arweck, Elizabeth (2006). Researching New Religious Movements: Responses and Redefinitions.  
  7. ^ "Preamble". Acts of the conference, Cults and Esotericism: New Challenges for Civil Societies in Europe. 28 April 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  8. ^ a b Chryssides, George D. (2006). The A to Z of New Religious Movements.  
  9. ^ Bruce, Steve (2003). Politics and Religion.  
  10. ^ Department of Economic and Social Affairs – NGO Branch: Search result for 'FECRIS' shows the profile
  11. ^ Marshall, Paul A. (2007). Religious Freedom in the World.  
  12. ^ Lehmann, Hartmut (2003). Multireligiosität im vereinten Europa: historische und juristische Aspekte. Wallstein Verlag. p. 227.  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ European Coordination of Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience, Questions about FECRIS
  15. ^  
  16. ^ Duval, Patricia (2012). "'"FECRIS and its Affiliates in France. The French Fight against the 'Capture of Souls. Religion – Staat – Gesellschaft 13 (2): 197–266.  
  17. ^ Fautré, Willy (2012). "Conclusions". Religion – Staat – Gesellschaft 13 (2): 389–94.  

External links

  • Official site
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