Was Manichaeism a heresy or a completely different faith than Christianity?

I kind of have been reading Saint Augustines "Confessions " in which he really speaks bad about the prophet Mani. It’s interesting to note it seems Manichaeism was a rival to the Church from the 4th to 7th centuries in Europe anyways. It lasted longer in the east.
Manichaeism somewhat reminds of of Islam. Both Mani and Muhammad claimed to be the paraclete spoken of in the New Testament. Also Jesus has an important role in both . It seems Manichaeism blended a lot of Zoroastrian beliefs as well with dualism.

So in a historical sense was Manichaeism a heresy of Christianity or was it a totally different world religion all together?

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It was a branch of gnosticism and never a branch of Christianity. So technically it was never a heresy. The early Church Fathers refer to all gnosticism as being started by Simon Magus mentioned in the book of Acts. It was just one of multiple branches of gnosticism in the early centuries of the Church.

It was one of the most dangerous heresies in history, not just Christianity. Everywhere it was, it was seen as subversive. In China, the Manichaens claimed to be Buddhist, in the Middle East, the Manichaens claimed to be Muslims; measures were taken to suppress them.

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