I have always had a fascination with the Zoroastrianism religion. Historically it is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world. Zoroastrianism is the ancient Iranian, pre-Islamic religion of the followers of the Persian prophet Zoroaster (c. 6th century BCE). Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, had visions of a wholly good creator God, Ahura Mazda – 19th century scholars called the tradition “Mazdaism” – who is opposed by the evil being Angra Mainyu. Much Zoroastrian theology is based on the dualism of good versus evil, as played out in the battle between Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu; Ahura Mazda will eventually prevail, and the cosmos will be renewed and all beings will reunite with Ahura Mazda. In Zoroastrianism there is little or no distinction between the physical and the spiritual realms, and thus there is a strong ethical component in the tradition because the personal struggle of good and evil in the human realm is believed to have cosmic ramifications. It is thus the responsibility of each believer to fight against evil on all fronts. The primary sacred text of Zoroastrianism is the Avesta (“Book of Law”), which includes hymns attributed to Zoroaster, instructions for festivals, rituals of purity, and spells against demons. Zoroastrianism was the official state religion of three successive empires in Iran from 550 BCE to 642 CE. During this period, Zoroastrianism had broad influence in what is now modern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Palestine. Although Zoroastrianism nearly disappeared after the emergence of Islam in the region, there are still small Zoroastrian communities scattered throughout the Middle East and India (where they are sometimes known as “Parsis”).zoroastrianism04


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s