Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mandaeans in Trouble

April DeConick here and here is highlighting the plight of one of the oldest religious communities in the world, the Mandaeans. They, like Christians and women and children, are another casualty of our great "success" in Iraq. Who are the Mandaeans?
The Sabian-Mandaean religion is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the Middle East lived mainly in Southern Iraq and few in Iran. It is independent of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It follows the teachings of John the Baptist; baptism being its central ritual. The Mandaeans are around sixty thousand at the present time. During the past decade, and especially the past three years, thousands have escaped Iraq and Iran, choosing self-exile and escape rather than death and persecution. There is now a large refugee population in Syria (2100 families), Jordan, (500 families), Yemen (46 individuals) and smaller numbers in Lebanon, Egypt, Mali, and Thailand.

No comments: