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Adherent ("a person who follows or upholds a leader, cause, etc.; supporter; follower") is the word I am considering. For example, would a group of people who support and fight for freedom be called adherents (ignoring the obvious "freedom fighter")?

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I'd use the word follower or activist, militant or even advocate:

http://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?q=advocate

http://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?q=activist

Etc.

  • "Militant" is interesting. It suggests an unquestioning belief in a cause or ideal. Would you still use it if the group supported or adhered to, say, honesty/dishonesty or fidelity/infidelity? – Ron Nov 30 '16 at 21:07

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