Mandaeism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world; its history goes back to the time of the Pharaohs. Mandaeans, also known as Sabians, are commonly and mistakenly referred to as the followers of John the Baptist, while they are in actuality distinct from Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Mandaeans revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Noah, Shem, Aron, and especially John the Baptist. They consider themselves the true sons of Adam. But unlike the other religions of the book, Mandaeans reject Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.
The Mandaeans fled from the Jordan Valley around 70 CE — during the Jewish revolt against the Romans. They moved to Mesopotamia, where most stayed. Slowly their numbers declined, through persecution and disease. Today there are between 60,000 and 70,000. Before the Iraq War, almost all lived in Iraq. After it began, many Mandaeans fled the country to the West. Mandaeans are currently found in large communities in Holland, Sweden, Australia, and to a lesser extent, in the United States.