WHO ARE THEY?
Zoroastrianism is the first monotheist religion and one of the world’s oldest religion. It was the official state religion of Persian empire during centuries until the Muslim conquest of Persia.
Followed years of harassment and most of the Zoroastrians emigrated to India, where they are known as Parsis.
Their traditions are now rooted in Iranian’s such as Sadeh, a celebration which consists in lighting fire to celebrate the coming spring, and Nowruz, New Year’s date.
A PEACEFUL RELIGION
“Good thoughts, good deeds, good words, that is our philosophy. Under Barham II, Mobed Kirdir did not respect our religion’s commandments and harassed Christians, Manichaeans and Jews. Most of the Mobed were against persecution. »
— Mobed Kamran Lorian
TOWER OF SILENCE, YAZD
“We have to respect 4 elements: earth, fire, air, water. These elements should never be contaminated by our actions. That is why we do not bury our deads like others. We used to put the bodies in these towers of silence, where the scavengers were taking good care of them. Now we are using concrete to avoid contact between the dead and the soil. ”
A RELIGION DEEPLY ROOTED in IRANIAN TRADITIONS
The throne of Jamshid carried by demons. According to Ferdowsi’s Shah Namah, Jamshid was World’s fourth king. He commanded the angels and demons. Zoroastrians are considering him as the first man to converse with the great God, Ahura Mazda.
Paintings, wall writings, pictures are ways to express their religions and their social issues. Idolatry is however forbidden. These white marks on the wall were used as an invitation to other villagers to come to a celebration in the designated house. Most of Zoroastrians were farmers and suffered from discrimination. Public functions were indeed reserved to Muslims in Iran.
“According to Zarathustra, there is no reincarnation for us. Some Parsi in India however believe in it, due to the proximity of Hinduism.”
PORTRAIT OF ZOROASTER
“God created two kinds of power, bad & good. God’s creations are insufflated with good. Light is the link between God and humans. Fire is a symbol of this link. For us it is sacred and it cannot be soiled.”
FIRE TEMPLE, TEHERAN
According to last Iranian population census in 2011, there were around 25,000 Zoroastrians in Iran. Despite their official recognition, they still fear the state authorities. It is forbidden for them to convert people. The census is not reflecting the correct number of Zoroastrians as people continue to get converted. Any foreigner entering in a fire temple could be seen as a potential activist.