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    (circa 1016- )
    Religion originating in the Levant around 1000 AD
    Started as an offshoot of Islam that was heavily 'influenced by Greek philosophy and Gnosticism'
    1.5 million followers worldwide; concentrated in the Levant, particularly Syria, Lebanon, and Israel
    Arabic speaking
    The seven tenets of the Druze religion are:
    Protection and aid to fellow believers
    The rejection of other faiths
    The rejection of the Devil and all forms of evil
    Confessing God's unity
    Acquiescence to God's action
    Absolute submission to and resignation to God's will
    Visually represented by the five colors; green, red, yellow, blue, and white; often showm in the form of a flag/banner or a five pointed star
    Primary text: Epistles of Wisdom
    Claim to have been founded by Jethro, Moses' father-in-law
    They believe in reincarnation.
    They are ethno-religious in nature and therefore do not allow converts which seems a bit snippy.
    Their name comes from one of their early prophets, Muhammad bin Ismail Nasthtakin ad-Dorazi who they considered a heretic and assassinated.
    They are allowed to lie about or hide their faith when it is advantageous.
    They sided with the Muslims against the Christian crusades.
    Because of the considerable intellectual/scholarly requirements of their faith only about 10% of the Druze people are actually initiates into the religion.
    Even with modern DNA testing, the ethnic origins of the Druze people is unclear.
    Because they believe God speaks to people through different religions , they are ultimately Unitarian in outlook.
    There is no historical evidence of their early years.
    No clergy!
    They are frequently mistaken for Muslims by outsiders.
    They have been persecuted throughout their history especially by Muslims, and especially by ISIS and Al-Qaeda in contemporary times.
    They are fiercely independent and have shown themselves to be ferocious warriors.
    Generally speaking they have had friendly relationships with Christianity and Judaism.
    Through their history, they have wielded great political power throughout the Levant and have at various times ruled large parts of Israel, Lebanon, and Syria.
    They forbid smoking and allow the eating of pork.
    They have their services on Thursdays leaving weekends free.
    They put great store in learning and their faith has been strongly influenced by; Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Alexander the Great and the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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