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a religion that arose at the beginning of the common era in Mesopotamia.
Mandaeanism combines elements of Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the religion of ancient Babylon. The principal doctrine of Mandaeanism deals with the opposition between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. According to Mandaeanism, the power of light, Manda-d-Hiia (hence the name of the religion), is the personification of the knowledge of life. Mandaeans revere John the Baptist as a prophet, but consider Christ, Abraham, and Moses false prophets. The religion was widespread in the first century A.D., but later many communities disbanded; some became Manichaeans. A small number of Mandaeans live in Iran and Iraq.