Mandaean, Sabean of Iraq
 
People Name: Mandaean, Sabean
Country: Iraq
Language: Mandaic
Population: 31,000
Unreached: Yes
People Cluster: Assyrian / Aramaic
Primary Religion: Other / Small
% Adherents: 0.00 %
% Evangelical: 0.00 %
Progress Status: 1.0
Profile provided by:

Joshua Project
PO Box 62614
Colorado Springs, CO 80962
United States
719.886.4000
www.joshuaproject.net


 

Introduction / History
Sabeans are perhaps the remnant of the Essen community (who wrote the dead sea scrolls) after it was destroyed in 70 AD. They fled eastward and took up residence along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers where their communities flourished. Several hundred years ago, their customs were recorded in their holy book, "Kenz irRabba" [the great treasure], which reads from both covers to the middle [you start at one cover and read to the middle, and then you turn it over and start from the other cover and read to the middle].

Where are they located?
They are located in Iraq along the banks of the major rivers, but lived mostly among the Marsh Arabs for centuries. They have large communities in Sweden, Australia, Canada and the USA (especially in Worchester, MA).

What are their lives like?
They were the gold smiths of Iraq, so they became targets of kidnapping and extortion by the radical Muslims after the fall of Saddam. They have lost a large part of their community due to the violence in Iraq.

What are their beliefs?
They build their worship centers on the banks of rivers and canals and divert part of the flow to come through their building into a pool and flow out the other end back to the river. This helps them perform multiple baptisms in "living water" [i.e. flowing water]. Baptism is the most important part of their religion, besides observing the festive calendar.

They have a large and small Eid [i.e. holiday] like their Muslim neighbors, one in the spring and another in the summer. They have elaborate death rituals including giving a new name to the deceased to assist them entering the "world of light." Angels also play a large role in the community life of Sabeans.

What are their needs?
They need political safety in Iraq since they are targets of annihilation.

Prayer Points
* Christian witness in the lands of their Diaspora.
* Wisdom for the many refugees stuck in Jordan and Syria who are not accepted for UNHCR relocation.
* Pray for the few known believers in the USA, Germany and Jordan.

 
Mandaean, Sabean of Iraq