What is Manichaeism?
Manichaeism is a religion founded by Iranian prophet Mani during the 3rd century CE. It mainly talks about the struggle between good and evil and the light and the darkness, therefore considered as a form of religious Dualism. It is classified as a religion that is a combination of Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Judaism. Additionally, Manichaeism offered salvation to the ones who are ascetic with their Manichaean lives. Once being a dominant religion in Asia during prophet Mani's days, Manichaeism's popularity slowly declined nearly died out around the end of the 6th century.
216 - Mani was born in Persian Babylonia (modern day Iraq).
228 - Mani had a vision.
237 - Mani had a second vision, and he was told to be the culminating prophet like Zoroaster, Buddha, and Jesus.
240 - Mani converted a Buddhist king.
242 - Mani first proclaimed his gospel in King, Gundesapor on the coronation day of Sapor I. He was then allowed to teach his faith, and with success, he converted 2 princes. In addition, missionaries were sent to the East and the West.
276 - Mani was persecuted under the rule of the new ruler Bahram I and died in prison (Bahram I was in favour of Zoroastrianism). Some say that he was crucified.
290 - Manichaeism was flourishing in Egypt
291 - Many Manichaeans were slaughtered in the Persian Empire.
291 - 303 - Innai reigned as Imam. During this time, the king became ill and resorted to Innai's expert healing skills. After the king's recovery, he tolerated Manichaeans and Manichaeism soon spread easily again.
300 - A village in India was known as Mani-grama (Mani's Town).
320 - A Christian named Hegemonius wrote the Acts of Archelaus, which was anti-Manichaeism and spread lies about Mani.
372 - Augustine became a Manichaean
405 - Augustine wrote against Manichaeans.
Late 300's to 400's - Rulers such as Theodosius I, Valentinian I, and Popes executed Manichaeans and burned Manichaean writings. Even though Manichaeism spread to Europe and China, it was regarded as heresy.
620 - Manichaeism spread eastward through the Silk Road and through China.
“Prayer was obligatory four times a day: at noon, late in the afternoon, after sunset, and three hours later. Prayer was made facing the sun or, in the night, the moon; when neither sun nor moon was visible, then the North, the throne of the Light-King. It was preceded by a ceremonial purification with water or for lack of water with some other substance in the Mohammedan fashion. The daily prayers were accompanied by twelve prostrations and addressed to the various personalities in the realm of light: the Father of Majesty, the First-Man, the Legatus Tertius, the Paraclete (Mani), the Five Elements, and so on. They consist mainly of a string of laudatory epithets and contain but little supplication. As time and attitude of prayer were intimately connected with astronomical phenomena, so likewise was the duty of fasting. All fasted on the first day of the week in honor of the sun, the Perfect also fasted on the second day in honor of the moon. All kept the fast during two days after every new moon; and once a year at the full moon, and at the beginning of the first quarter of the moon. Moreover, a monthly fast, observed till sunset, was begun on the eighth day of the month.”