Wikijunior:World Religions/Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions of the world.

How many people follow Zoroastrianism?


The numbers of Zoroastrians in the world is not known, and there could be anywhere from 124,000 to 2.6 million.[1]

Where is Zoroastrianism practiced?


Zoroastrianism comes from Iran in central Asia. It was the main religion in Iran until the 7th century AD, when Iran was invaded by Arabs who converted most of the people of Iran to the new religion of Islam. There is still a small community of Zoroastrians in Iran today, but most Zoroastrians now live in India. Most Zoroastrians in India are part of an ethnic group, descended from Iranians, called Parsis. They speak Gujarati, an Indian language, and live mainly in Mumbai.

What are the main beliefs of Zoroastrianism?

Zoroastrian sacred fire in a fire temple

Zoroastrians believe there in one god, called Ahura Mazda (meaning "Wise Lord" in Avestan, the sacred language of Zoroastrians). Ahura Mazda is in conflict with the evil spirit Ahriman (or Angra Mainyu), who is the prince of evil, destruction, and lies. Every human is free to follow either Ahura Mazda or Ahriman. At the end, Ahriman will be defeated, and every human will be judged, and continue living either in paradise or in hell.

The motto of Zoroastrianism is "Good thoughts, good words, good deeds".

Zoroastrians believe that water and fire are sacred and pure, and their temples are called fire temples. They present offerings to the holy fires, which are tended constantly by priests.

What texts does Zoroastrianism hold sacred?


The main sacred text of Zoroastrianism is called the Avesta, which contains the teaching of its prophet, Zoroaster.

What are some main holidays and practices of Zoroastrianism?


Zoroastrians have many rites. One of their most famous holidays is Nowruz, or the New Year's Day in the Zoroastrian/Persian calendar.

What is the history of Zoroastrianism?


Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions of the world. It is based on the teachings of a man named Zoroaster. Most scholars think he was living in the 6th century BCE. Some believe he lived much earlier, around the 10th century BCE. Ancient Persians accepted his beliefs, and Zoroastrianism became the most important religion of Persia, until the invasion of Persia by the Muslim Arabs.

Who are some famous people who have practiced Zoroastrianism?


Cyrus the Great.

One of the most famous contemporary Zoroastrians was Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the British rock band Queen. He was born in Zanzibar, an island country in Africa then part of the British Empire and now part of Tanzania. His family were Zoroastrian Parsis from India.

What is a story from Zoroastrianism?