19 Facts About Zoroastrianism


Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster.

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Zoroastrianism is known as Zartosht and Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati.

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Zoroastrianism is not entirely uniform in theological and philosophical thought, especially with historical and modern influences having a significant impact on individual and local beliefs, practices, values, and vocabulary, sometimes merging with tradition and in other cases displacing it.

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Currently though, The Council of Tehran Mobeds endorses conversion but conversion from Islam to Zoroastrianism is illegal under the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Roots of Zoroastrianism are thought to lie in a common prehistoric Indo-Iranian religious system dating back to the early 2nd millennium BCE.

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Zoroastrianism'stories is a primary source of information on the early period of the Achaemenid era, in particular with respect to the role of the Magi.

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The Sassanids aggressively promoted the Zurvanite form of Zoroastrianism, often building fire temples in captured territories to promote the religion.

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Zoroastrianism has survived into the modern period, particularly in India, where the Parsis are thought to have been present since about the 9th century.

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Today Zoroastrianism can be divided in two main schools of thought: reformists and traditionalists.

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Many traits of Zoroastrianism can be traced back to the culture and beliefs of the prehistorical Indo-Iranian period, that is, to the time before the migrations that led to the Indo-Aryans and Iranics becoming distinct peoples.

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Zoroastrianism itself inherited ideas from other belief systems and, like other "practiced" religions, accommodates some degree of syncretism, with Zoroastrianism in Sogdia, the Kushan Empire, Armenia, China, and other places incorporating local and foreign practices and deities.

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Gherardo Gnoli, in The Encyclopaedia of Religion, says that "we can assert that Manichaeism has its roots in the Iranian religious tradition and that its relationship to Mazdaism, or Zoroastrianism, is more or less like that of Christianity to Judaism".

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Many aspects of Zoroastrianism are present in the culture and mythologies of the peoples of Greater Iran, not least because Zoroastrianism was a dominant influence on the people of the cultural continent for a thousand years.

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Zoroastrianism had a wife, three sons, and three daughters, the numbers of which are gathered from various texts.

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Zoroastrianism opposed cruel animal sacrifices and the excessive use of the possibly hallucinogenic Haoma plant, but did not condemn either practice outright, providing moderation was observed.

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Central to Zoroastrianism is the emphasis on moral choice, to choose the responsibility and duty for which one is in the mortal world, or to give up this duty and so facilitate the work of druj.

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Thus, Zoroastrianism can be said to be a universalist religion with respect to salvation in that all souls are redeemed at the final judgement.

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Central ritual of Zoroastrianism is the Yasna, which is a recitation of the eponymous book of the Avesta and sacrificial ritual ceremony involving Haoma.

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Surge in Kurdish Muslims converting to Zoroastrianism is largely attributed to disillusionment with Islam after experiencing violence and oppression perpetrated by ISIS in the area.

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