For his book, Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, former British and UN diplomat Gerard Russell spent several years traveling to remote corners of the Middle East where these faiths hang on. Speaking from his home in London, he explains what George Clooney can expect from his new wife, why Detroit is one of the best places to hear ancient Aramaic, and why it's important for us all that these minority religions survive.

For your sanity, do not read the comments (even though this is a NatGeo article).