Zoroastrianism

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1
Adherents

200,000

Place Founded

Ancient Persia

Date Founded

c. 6th century BCE

Founder(s)

Zoroaster

Beliefs

one God, Ahura Mazda, who has an evil opponent, Aura Mainyu; judgment after death; heaven and hell

Practices

prayers; tending the sacred fire; coming of age rituals; burial by exposure in the Tower of Silence

Main Holidays

Gahanbars (seasonal festivals), Noruz (New Year), Mehragan (festival of Mithra)

Texts

Zend Avesta

Symbols

Faravahar

Zoroastrianism is the ancient, pre-Islamic religion of Persia (modern-day Iran). It survives there in isolated areas but primarily exists in India, where the descendants of Zoroastrian Persian immigrants are known as Parsis, or Parsees. In India the religion is called Parsiism.

Founded by the Iranian prophet and reformer Zoroaster in the 6th century BCE, Zoroastrianism contains both monotheistic and dualistic features. Although a fairly small religion today, numbering about 200,000 adherents, it shares many central concepts with the major world religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Sources

  • Zoroastrianism.” BBC Religion & Ethics. Web. Accessed 9 Feb. 2017.
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Glossary of Zoroastrianism

Definitions of terms related to Zoroastrianism.

History of Zoroastrianism

Zarathustra (in Greek, Zoroaster) was a Persian prophet who at the age of 30 believed he had seen visions of God, whom is Ahura Mazda, the creator of all that is good and who alone is worthy of worship...

Timeline of Zoroastrianism

The history of Zoroastrianism at a glance.

Zoroastrian Holidays and Festivals

Festivals, in which worship is an essential part, are characteristic aspects of Zoroastrianism. The principal festivals in the Parsi year are the six seasonal festivals, Gahanbars, and the days in memory of the dead at year's end...

Zoroastrian Symbols

The most common symbols of Zoroastrianism are the Faravahar, which was inscribed on ancient temples, and the Adar or sacred fire.

Faravahar

adar

Zoroastrian beliefs

The Zoroastrian concept of God incorporates elements of both monotheism and dualism. In his visions, Zarathustra was taken up to heaven, where Ahura Mazda revealed that he had an opponent, Aura Mainyu, the spirit and promoter of evil...

Zoroastrian rituals and practices

Today's Zoroastrians (Parsis) practice an important coming of age ritual, in which all young Parsis must be initiated when they reach the age of seven (in India) or 10 (in Persia)...

Zoroastrian texts

The Zoroastrian sacred text is the Avesta ("Book of the Law"), a fragmentary collection of sacred writings. Compiled over many centuries, the Avesta was not completed until Persia's Sassanid dynasty (226-641 CE)...

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