Minority Religions

Samaritans praying during Passover holiday ceremony on Mount Gerizim, West Bank
Samaritans praying during Passover holiday ceremony on Mount Gerizim, West Bank. Source: http://www.flickr.com/people/69061470@N05 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Across the Arab world there are many minority religions followed by peoples for thousands of years and these religions have at various periods throughout history enjoyed protections and in other periods, they have suffered persecution. Some of the followers of minority religions found in the Arab world include: the Druze, the Mandaeans, the Alawis, the Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Samaritans, and Christians of minority Churches (Coptic OrthodoxChaldean Eastern Catholics and Ancient / Assyrian Church of the East Christians). It is becoming increasingly evident that minority religions are now at risk of becoming extinct in the Arab world. Fundamentalism has either driven the followers of minority religious groups in unprecedented numbers out of their ancient homelands, or they have suffered torture and death at the hands of extremist groups.

We provide you with a brief outline of the minority religions from the Arabic speaking world, whose followers have been forced to seek refuge outside their homeland and have been compelled to migrate to Australia. The minority religious communities who now have a place in Australia are the Druze, the Mandaeans, the Alawis, and in smaller numbers, the Yazidis.

We have also provided information on the minority Christian communities of the Arab World whose members now have an established presence in Australia  - see Christianity for further information.

Further Reading & Materials