In the Acts of the Apostles it is applied both in the Latin of the Vulgate and in the English of the Douay version to the religious tendency with which one has identified himself (xxiv, 5; xxvi, 5; xxviii, 22; see xxiv, 14).
With the rise of Protestantism and the consequent disruption of the Christian religion into numerous denominations, the use of the word sect has become frequent among Christians.
Cults are small, extreme groups, and are often marked by manipulative practices, corrupt leaders, and intense practices. In history, religious sects have been the cause of new movements and radical changes.
For example, one early sect of Judaism was the Nazarenes.
signified the mode of thought, the manner of life and, in a more specific sense, designated the political party to which one had sworn allegiance, or the philosophical school whose tenets he had embraced.
Etymologically no offensive connotation is attached to the term.