By: Mir M.Hosseini
Mani was born to become the first prophet to preach equality of mankind. He had his first vision of an angel in his boyhood, and when he was 24 the angel reappeared and called him to preach the new religion : Manichaeism. He traveled to India and made converts there. The Persian king Shapour I permitted him to preach in the Persian empire, but, during the reign of Bahram I, Mani was attacked by Zoroastrian priests. After a 26-day trial he was sentenced to prison and then executed in 277.
Mani viewed himself as the last in a line of prophets that included Adam, Buddha, Zoroaster, and Jesus. His writings, now mostly lost, formed the Manichaean scriptures. Manichaeism held that the world was a fusion of spirit and matter, the original principles of good and evil, and that the fallen soul was trapped in the evil, material world and could reach the transcendent world only by way of the spirit. Attacked by almost all religions as the teachings were similar to modern day communism, Manichaeism disappeared almost entirely from Western Europe by the end of the 5th century but survived in Asia until the 14th century.