Mandaeanism is a monotheistic religion that recognizes Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Noah, Shem, Aram, and especially John the Baptist as true prophets, while regarding Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad as false prophets. Mandaeans regard John the Baptist to be God's most honorable messenger.

There are approximately 70,000 Mandeans worldwide, and until 2003, most lived in Iraq and Iran. However, under threat from Islamic extremists in the chaos following the US-led invasion of Iraq, most Iraqi Mandeans fled to Syria and Jordan. There is also a significant diaspora population in Europe, Australia, and North America.

The term "Mandaenism" comes from the Mandic "manda ḏ-hiia," "knowledge of life," with reference to their term for God, "hiia rbia," ("Great Life"). Thus, the term may refer to knowledge of God. Some scholars believe that the Mandaeans may be the last remaining sect of gnosticism[1], while Fred Aprim has suggested that the Mandaeans may be descendants of the Babylonians [2]


  1. Lupieri, Edmondo. The Mandaeans : The Last Gnostics 2001:William. B. Eerdmans
  2. Aprim, Fred, "Mandaeans: The True Descendents of Ancient Babylonians and Chaldeans", retrieved November 21, 2007.

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