Aum Shinrikyō

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(Jap.). A new religious movement that developed in Japan during the 1980s under the leadership of its ‘guru’, Shoko Asahara. A kind of Śaiva-Shinto synthesis, the group also includes Buddhist and Judeo-Christian elements in its beliefs and practices. The cult drew worldwide attention when it released nerve gas in five Tokyo subway lines on 20 March 1995 in accordance with its millennial ‘doomsday’ beliefs. After several years of decline caused by the subsequent investigations and arrests, the group is reportedly on the rise once again.

Subjects: Religion.

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