Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, a religion based on the Torah. Samaritans claim that their worship (as opposed to mainstream Judaism) is the true religion of the ancient Israelites, predating the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
Men chant in ancient Hebrew over the sheep, their white garments and knives lit by the fading dusk as they ready a sacrifice for the God of Israel in the heart of the West Bank. The faithful are Samaritans, a community of 710 people who trace their lineage to the ancient Israelites Moses led out of Egypt, an event they remember every year on a grassy hilltop on Mount Gerizim near Nablus – in a region known to Jews as Samaria. Over the years, their numbers dwindled from 1.5 million in the fifth century AD to fewer than 150 in 1917. The Samaritans’ fortunes started improving under the British Mandate, when colonial officials sought to rescue the community they associated with the “Good Samaritan” parable.