Abelians (also Abeloites or Abelonians) were a Christian sect that sprang up in the 4th century near Hippo Regius in north Africa during the reign of Arcadius. They lived in continence as they affirmed Abel did. They were required to be married but were forbidden to consummate the marriage. Each couple was required to adopt two children, a boy and a girl. Because no children of Abel are mentioned in Scripture, the Abelians assumed that he had none. The only record of the sect is in Augustine of Hippo's De Haereticis ch. 87.
- Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 1957; p. 4
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