While Mandaeanism still exists today mainly in the borderland areas of Iraq and Iran, many have fled the area since the 1990s due to the unstable political landscape and have relocated world-wide. There is no official census of practicing Mandaeans today, but a conservative estimate would place the population in 2005 to be roughly between 50,000 to 70,000 members.
The religion is considered non-Christian in character and is still considered to be a pre-Christian religion. This is interesting to note, as they are referred to as the “Christians of St. John”, which is a misnomer as they are not a Christian religion. Traditionally, Mandaeans are called Subi by their Muslim neighbors.
The term mandā has been translated to mean knowledge. If this translation is correct, the Mandaeans are actually the only sect from ancient times to identify themselves as Gnostic.