Friday, July 21, 2017

Mandeans in Australia

MANDEAN (MANDAEAN) WATCH: Meet the Mandaeans: Australian followers of John the Baptist celebrate new year (Siobhan Hegarty, ABC News).
Baptism, or masbuta, is the key ritual of this gnostic faith. Unlike Christians, Mandaeans may be baptised hundreds, even thousands of times over the course their life.

This week marked Kahshuzahly, or Mandaean New Year's Eve, and Mandaeans around the world flocked to flowing rivers for a special ceremony.

Anwar Hasan, the 13-year-old daughter of a local priest, was one of the 100 or so Mandaeans who went to the banks of the Nepean River.

Baptisms, she said, are an opportunity to cleanse and refresh one's life and soul.
Their Mandean liturgical language is Mandaic, an ancient Aramaic dialect. Like other religious minorities in Iraq, the Mandeans have suffered much persecution since the Iraq War.

For more on this week's Mandean new-year celebrations, see here. And for many past posts on the Mandeans, follow the links that start there.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.