Monday, March 19, 2012

Sabean Mandeans Celebrate Eid Al-Khaiqeh, March 2012


Iraq is the home to several small religious groups. Violence has reduced their numbers, but there are still several thousand Christians, Yazidis, and Sabean Mandeans. Sabeans are followers of John The Baptist. According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, 90% of the community has either been killed or fled since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein. That has only left 3,500-5,000 left in the country. Their persecution was made worse by the fact that Sabeans are pacifists, and their existence was threatened, because one can only be born into the religion, not converted. Luckily, with violence greatly reduced, the Sabean religion has a chance to survive within the country, something that was questioned during the civil war. Below are pictures of Sabean Mandeans celebrating Eid Al-Khaiqeh, which marks the creation of the world, along the Tigris River in Baghdad on March 16, 2012.
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(Getty Images)
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SOURCES

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, “Iraq Report – 2008,” December 2008

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