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.