About The Samaritan People
Most of the world knows of the Israelite-Samaritan people from the famous parable by Jesus of the Good Samaritan.
About half of this 800+ person community lives on Kiryat Luza on the sacred Mountain of Blessings recorded in Holy Scriptures, Mount Gerizim, and half in Holon, a suburb of Tel Aviv. The community is integrated in modern Israeli and Palestinian life while practicing its ancient religion meticulously as it was practiced 3000 years ago.
The Israelite-Samaritans are descended from the ancient Kingdom of Israel formed after the death of King Solomon. Cruel religious decrees in medieval times forced most of the community into conversions to Islam and Christianity, thinning the Samaritan numbers to a mere 146 persons in 1917. In the 1930s the community reached a turning point and began to increase. Since then, it has been gradually developing in all areas of life. Now, in addition to being among the smallest people and the oldest living Biblical culture in the world, it is also demographically a very young community.
Throughout all history, the Samaritans maintained their unique status as a people. They use the most ancient Hebrew script; they speak the ancient Hebrew dialect, and are brought up in accordance with a unique, millennia-old historical tradition, dating back to the return of the People of Israel, under Joshua son of Nun, to its homeland.
The Israelite-Samaritans are the third “People of The Book,” a separate but related faith (which recognizes only their Torah as canonical and sustain the Hebrew priesthood) with Jews and Moslems. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritans.