Manichaeism was created by Mani the prophet. Mani was born into a religious sect called the Elkesaites, which was mixture of Jewish and Christian beliefs. The Elkesaites practiced vegetarianism, circumcision, and the Sabbath. Around the year 228, when Mani was twelve years old, many wars were taking place to restore power to the Parthians. It was around this time that Mani was visited by a, “divine twin”. This divine twin told Mani that he did not belong in an impure community with false religious beliefs and many immoral wars. Mani stayed in his community despite this divine twin’s advice, and experienced many religions and many cultures as power over the country came and went. Mani started observing each and every religion that he saw or experie...
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...r, leading up to the holiest festival, the Bema Festival. This fasting cleanses the soul of all sins and evil that has been collected. The Elect also must fast every Sunday and Monday. The second group of Manichee were called the Hearers. The Hearers were not as strict as the Elect, but still must follow a stiff code of rules. The Hearers were similar to the Elect in their rules, but had more exceptions. The Hearers were allowed to eat, have sex, and reproduce children. The Hearers also had to fast in January and on Sundays and Mondays. The final group of Manichee were much less strict. All that this last group had to do was believe in the gods and ideas that Mani preached. This group was the majority of the Manichee population and was crucial in the growth of the religion. This class reproduced, and therefore passed the religion onto their offsprings.
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