Sectarianism is the act of hatred and violence by a particular group against others whom it perceives as being different and on the wrong path. Sense of self-righteousness convinces the group that any mean no matter how harsh it may be, is justified for as long as the end goals are met. Sectarianism results from intolerant, discriminating, and prejudiced world view of those with different beliefs and ideologies.
A sect is a group with distinctive beliefs or ideologies. A sect is dissatisfied with the larger group with which it may break or the overall society. A sect believes that it has the discovered the absolute truth and takes it upon itself the task of promoting so-called truth. Since a sect may come up with ideas that conflict with the larger society or established organizations, it faces opposition as well as accusations of destabilizing the society by challenging the long established rules and beliefs. A sect may resort to violence if it sees its existence to be in jeopardy or believes that the violence is the most effective course to draw attention to its message.
Sectarianism may be exhibited by physical violence, segregation, murders, disruption of everyday lives, and harassment. The objective behind such actions is to make life difficult for others so as not to leave them any choice but to either accept the sect’s ideology or leave the area. When the sect is motivated by racial discrimination, its goal is to drive the prejudiced group out of the society by imposing economic and social hardships. Religion in the Iron Age was usually limited to particular areas and different sects had their own belief systems. The sects formed their beliefs around natural phenomenon that they found fascinating such as water and fire. The sects derived their distinct cultural identity through their religious rituals thus, might have engaged in violent conflicts with other sects having different rituals.