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September 20th, 2005

10:49 am - Mandean priests fear their creed could disappear completely

Iraq chaos threatens ancient faith
Kate Clark

By Kate Clark
BBC News, Damascus

Mandean priests fear their creed could disappear completely
There are fears for the future of one of the most ancient, as well as the smallest, communities in Iraq - the Mandeans.

Their religion, Mandeanism, comes from the same general background as Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

They share many of the same prophets, but particularly honour John the Baptist.

This is a religion almost solely confined to Iraq, but since the US-led invasion in 2003, many Mandeans have fled the country and now more than half of them live outside its borders.

The refugees speak of kidnap, murder and attempts at forced conversion.

The only surviving Gnostic religion from late antiquity
About 20,000-50,000 adherents
Centred in southern Iraq and SW Iran, but many living abroad
Focus on John the Baptist as central figure in faith
One woman, Ibtisam Sabah Habib, said there had always been some threats and pressure to convert to Islam, but under the previous Iraqi regime there had been limits.

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June 2nd, 2005

ARAMAIC GLOSSARY Read more...Collapse )

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May 2nd, 2005

08:46 pm - Kabbalah
For those interested in real Kabbalah discussion! http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/aion

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April 15th, 2005

10:55 pm - Notice
For those of you also interested in Manichaean -- we have:





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March 31st, 2005

11:54 pm - Mandaean Texts
The texts, in original Mandaic Aramaic and translations, can be found at:


Thanks to adityanath for hosting them.

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March 23rd, 2005

09:36 am - Mandaean Article
Sabean-Mandeans trying to preserve their traditions
Source ::: AFP

BAGHDAD: “I cannot speak because I am dead,” scribbles Salem Daoud on a piece of paper as he stands on the banks of the Tigris.

The 55-year-old priest looks like the biblical Moses with his thick white beard, rosy cheeks and white tunics. His headgear resembles that of a Jewish Rabbi.

He is impersonating one of 100 members of his tiny Sabean-Mandean community who died in violent incidents in Iraq over the past few months, during the US-led invasion two years ago or in the wars of ousted leader Saddam Hussein.

According to the ancient religion, which combines Babylonian, pre-Islamic, Persian and Christian beliefs, those who die of unnatural causes must have their last baptism and be honoured with a feast, otherwise their spirits would remain stuck on earth and never make it up to the “world of light.”

Tuesday is the climax of the “five white days,” one of the holiest periods in the Mandean-Sabean calendar.

It is believed there are about 60,000 Sabean-Mandeans left in Iraq with many concentrated in the southern provinces around the marshlands. The community, which reveres Christian disciple John the Baptist, moved to Mespotamia from Jerusalem in the second century AD to flee persecution by orthodox Jews.

At a sharp bend of the Tigris in an area known as the Island of Weddings on the capital’s east side dozens of men, women and children, many of them in white tunics gather to cleanse their bodies, souls and even pots and pans.

“When you immerse yourself in running water, you purify the body, spirit and nafas, which is God’s own breath in you,” says priest Salwan Shaker, explaining one of the religion’s main rites.

The bearded 36-year-old holds a wooden staff and wears tattered sandals woven from dried reeds.

Behind him a group of anxious-looking men and women await a signal from a priest to take turns for a dip in the brown and polluted waters of the Tigris.

In another purification ritual, rows of women sit under a shed. A young male priest pours out Tigris water from a carafe into a bronze cup and hands it out in turns to the women, who take two sips and sprinkle some of it on their left shoulders to wash away sins according to Shaker.

Many people come up to greet priest Shaker, who has come back to Iraq for the first time since 1998, when he moved to Sweden, where he says there are some 4,000 Sabean-Mandeans. “The country is in ruins. I am shocked. Baghdad, the jewel and paradise is now one big garbage dump,” says Shaker as those around him nod their heads.

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January 18th, 2004

07:11 pm - Intro and Books
Just a short intro. Undergrad doing work on the rise of Gnostic thought. I am considering doing grad work in Iraq with the Mandaeans.

At any rate. I spent a month or so ILLing some of the more rare ES Drower books, and hand scanning them into Adobe Acrobat format. Right now I have:

The Diwan Abatur
The Book of the Zodiac
The Haran Gawaita
The Baptism of Hibil Ziwa
The Secret Adam

The ones that came with Mandaean scrolls have the scrolls scanned with them as well.

The only issue at this point is finding a place to host them. Anyone have any ideas?

At any rate, glad to be around and look forward to discussion.
Current Music: Prodigy - Fire (Sunrise Version)

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December 29th, 2003

08:05 pm - Mandaean Community: Livejournal

Welcome to the Mandaean Community discussion group on Livejournal. The purpose of this group is so Mandaeans worldwide will have a forum on Livejournal and so that the Mandaean culture and religion can be discussed here. Please limit the topic matter to Mandaean topics, and have respect for the living Mandaean community.

You can create a Livejournal account here (if you don't already have one): http://www.livejournal.com/create.bml

And, you can join this community here: http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=mandaean once you have logged in.


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Current Mood: happyhappy

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