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Zoroastrianism Bookmark and Share


Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion to have been entered in recorded history, which is based on the teachings and philosophies of Zoroaster, the religion's prophet and founder. Zoroastrianism is believed to have been founded around the 8th to 6th century BCE, but enters recorded history in the time period of the Achaemenid Empire. Zoroastrianism flourished among the Iranian people and even received royal patronage in the Achaemenid, Arsacid, and in the Sassanid empires. However, after the Muslim conquest of Persia, Zoroastrianism quickly marginalized, with some Iranians willingly converting, while others were forcibly converted to Islam.


The religion was founded by Zarathushtra (Zoroaster in Greek; Zarthosht in India and Persia). Conservative Zoroastrians assign a date of 6000 BCE to the founding of the religion; other followers estimate 600 BCE. Historians and religious scholars generally date his life sometime between 1500 and 1000 BCE on the basis of his style of writing. He lived in Persia, modern day Iran. Legends say that his birth was predicted and that attempts were made by the forces of evil to kill him as a child. He preached a monotheism in a land which followed an aboriginal polytheistic religion. He was attacked for his teaching, but finally won the support of the king.

Zoroastrianism became the state religion of various Persian empires, until the 7th Century CE. When Muslim Arabs invaded Persia in 650 CE, a small number of Zoroastrians fled to India. Today, the group in India is the largest concentration of Zoroastrians in the world. There, they are called Parsees (a.k.a. Parsis). Those who remained behind in what is now Iran have survived centuries of persecution, systematic slaughter, forced conversion, heavy taxes, etc. They now number only about 18,000 and reside chiefly in Yazd, Kernan and Tehran. 
 

Zoroastrianism
>>Zoroastrianism >>Beliefs >>Festivals >>History
>>Sacred Text >>Zoroastrians >>Pilgrimages >>Practises


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