Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms – Book Review

A wonderful book about the author’s interactions with seven lesser-known religions.

These religions are: the Christian Copts in Egypt, the Kalasha in the remote northern valleys of Pakistan, the Zoroastrians of Iran, the Druze in Lebanon, the Samaritans in Israel, the Mandaeans of Iraq and the Yazidis of Iraq, Syria, Armenia, and Georgia.

Gerard Russell learns their histories, participates in some of their festivals, and comes to understand the threats to their survival as more of the younger generation leave their native countries to live in various parts of the English-speaking world.

These religions represent some of the last vestiges of great empires and civilisations from ancient times such as Babylon, Egypt, and Persia. The questions are whether these religions survive and if they do, what form they’ll take given the various diaspora that have taken place especially when, as is the case with the Druze, their traditions are not written down.

This book is full of fascinating insights into each of these religions and it made me want to find out more about each of them.

The epilogue is excellent too. In this Gerard Russell visits people from some of the featured religions who’ve made a new life for themselves in the USA.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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