Among the casualties of the western intervention in Iraq and the recent activities of ISIS are the Mandeans of Southern Iraq. These peace-loving people are now fleeing to the west . They are the last Gnostics, the only surviving remnant of the ancient sects who taught the direct knowledge of God, created their own gospels and myths and were persecuted as heretical by the church in the second and third centuries. The Mandeans place weekly river baptisms at the centre of their religious life and the primary exemplar of their religion is none other than John the Baptist. What is the real history of this mysterious and long lived sect? Can the Mandean peoples really be traced back to the first century? And who was John the Baptist? This book follows the history of the Mandeans from their present plight back through their earliest encounters with the West, their place in Islamic counties, their possible influence on the Templars, back to their origins as a first century baptismal sect connected to John the Baptist and beyond.
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