"As to the religion of the Sabeans very little is known about the origins of this religion, though we Bahá'ís are certain of one thing that the founder of it has been a Divinely-sent Messenger. The country where Sabeanism became widespread and flourished was Chaldea, and Abraham is considered as having been a follower of that Faith." -Baha'i Writings
There still remains a group of the loyal followers of the Sabean Religion near Baghdád in Iraq. Although they feel that their numbers are dwindling since they do not permit conversions to their religion and one must be born into it. They have about 80,000 members in Iraq and another group of 15,000 in southern Iran, and some very small numbers in the US and elsewhere. They fit in with the Islámic world by adopting the Islámic customs and Arab language, and they are accepted by the Iraqi people.
The Sabean book is called Kanza Rama, which is said to transmit the sayings of the ancient Prophets of Seth, Abraham and others lost to time. The group in Iraq call themselves 'Mandaean Sabeans' and they have adopted the teachings regarding baptism from John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Christian religion, in which they see baptism in playing a major role in purifying the soul.
It is interesting that the Bible does not identify John the Baptist as being Jewish but says that he followed what we identify with many ancient Sabean practices in his living close to nature in the wild. Some also feel that he should be identified with the Essene sect and the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke has the lengthy account of John's birth to the Priest Zacharias and Elisabeth, a cousin of the Virgin Mary. It is difficult to tell how much of the original teachings of Sabeans remain because the religion is ancient and has now interacted with so many other religions.
Let us honor a Religion almost lost to Time that influenced so many Religions.
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