Mandaeans, The descendants of one of Mesopotamia's ancient civilization

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The descendants of one of Mesopotamia's oldest religious minorities

Who are Mandeans?Mandaeans (Arabic: ةَئِمْندَائِيُّون ٱل َّصابٱل, romanized: aṣ-Ṣābiʾah alMandāʾiyūn) are an ethnoreligious group native to the alluvial plain of southern Mesopotamia and are followers of Mandaeism, a monotheistic Gnostic religion.

They were probably the first to practice baptism and are the last surviving Gnostics from antiquity.

The Mandaeans were originally native speakers of Mandaic, a Semitic language that evolved from Eastern Middle Aramaic, before many switched to colloquial Iraqi Arabic and Modern Persian.

Mandaic is mainly preserved as a liturgical language.

In the aftermath of the Iraq War of 2003, the Mandaean community of Iraq, which used to number 60,000–70,000 persons, collapsed; most of the community relocated to nearby Iran, Syria and Jordan, or formed diaspora communities beyond the Middle East.

The other community of Iranian Mandaeans has also been dwindling as a result of religious persecution over that decade.

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