Mandaean Sabians Conduct Golden Baptism Ritual

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - MAY 23: Mandaean Sabians gather on the banks of the Tigris River for a ceremony known as the Golden Baptism (Dihwa id Dihana) which is one of the most important rituals of the Mandaean religion May 23, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. The ceremony is performed to purify the followers, both physically and spiritually. Mandaean Sabians, a Gnostic religion, regard John the Baptist as their last prophet and are said to be those who are baptized and who know the religion of God, known as The Great Life or The Eternal Life in the Ginza Raba, their holy book. The Mandaean Sabians direct their faces northward while practicing their religious rites because they believe that the world of Light (paradise) lies in that sacred place of the universe where souls go when the journey of life ends. Mandaean Sabians do not allow people to convert into or out of the religion and do not allow mixed marriages. The Mandaean Sabians believe that once they travel to the Light, they will enjoy immortality alongside God. The Mandaean Sabians live mainly in Iraq and Iran, but there are Mandaean Sabian communities located in Europe, the U.S. as well as in Australia. There are approximately 100,000 Mandaean Sabians worldwide. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - MAY 23: Mandaean Sabians gather on the banks of the Tigris River for a ceremony known as the Golden Baptism (Dihwa id Dihana) which is one of the most important rituals of the Mandaean religion May 23, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. The ceremony is performed to purify the followers, both physically and spiritually. Mandaean Sabians, a Gnostic religion, regard John the Baptist as their last prophet and are said to be those who are baptized and who know the religion of God, known as The Great Life or The Eternal Life in the Ginza Raba, their holy book. The Mandaean Sabians direct their faces northward while practicing their religious rites because they believe that the world of Light (paradise) lies in that sacred place of the universe where souls go when the journey of life ends. Mandaean Sabians do not allow people to convert into or out of the religion and do not allow mixed marriages. The Mandaean Sabians believe that once they travel to the Light, they will enjoy immortality alongside God. The Mandaean Sabians live mainly in Iraq and Iran, but there are Mandaean Sabian communities located in Europe, the U.S. as well as in Australia. There are approximately 100,000 Mandaean Sabians worldwide. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)
Mandaean Sabians Conduct Golden Baptism Ritual
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Credit:
Oleg Nikishin / Stringer
Editorial #:
2024869
Collection:
Getty Images News
Date created:
23 May, 2003
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Source:
Getty Images Europe
Object name:
2024530ON019_sabians