ZoroastrianismZoroastrianism is believed to beone of the first monotheistic religions that has inspired all othermonotheistic religions. There are twoparts of Zoroastrianism, Parsees (followers from India), and Gabras (followersfrom Iran). The followers gather theirinformation on this religion from The Avesta, which is the Bible of their religion. The Avesta is a series of booksconveying the teachings of the prophet Zarathustra through hymns.
In these books, he wrote about a single God,known as Ahura Mazda. This took manypeople by surprise, because his writings conveyed a single God in a time wheremonotheism was not considered a thing, before The Avesta was taught, everyone believedworshipping multiple Gods was the correct thing to do. In most religions, people believein a good and evil spirit. This religionis one of those, the evil spirit is known as “Druj” who they believe iscontrolled by an Angra Mainyu, the God of darkness. The God they worship, Asha is seen as the light,or fire. Since God is viewed as fire, itis against their religion for a dead body to be cremated, because they believethe cause of any persons death is because they have been “possessed” bydarkness.
They do not hold funerals, orany type of memorial for the dead because that is also considered “unruly,” instead,the dead body is left out in the open so scavenger animals can come and feed onthe carcasses. Another belief thisreligion has on death, is the persons fate is decided by the way their good andbad actions weigh out. If a person hasmore bad actions, they are believed to be sent to hell, and vice versa. They believe that in order to go to Heaven,one must have good thoughts, good actions, and good words. Followers of this religion arenot required to practice outside of their houses, but they can do so if theyplease. There are “fire temples” thatare located widely among India and Iran for people to come and publicly worshiptheir religion. There is an alter thatburns in the temple to portray Asha by “burning for eternity.” They only celebrate two mainholidays, Naw-ruz, which is like a New Years celebration, and Yalda, which is acelebration of the winter solstice.
The wintersolstice is celebrated because people of the religion believe it is a holy timeof year, because the long nights (evil), are turned into long days (holy). There are three differentclassifications of “preachers” in this religion, the highest ranking preachersare referred to as “Dasturs.” TheDasturs should be able to read, understand, and recite any part of the Avesta,they can perform any type of ritual, and they are the only spiritual leaders ofthis religion that can preach anywhere. It is not certain how thisreligion spread so widely, but it was believed to have been the official or thepredominant religion of three separate Middle-Eastern empires. Two of the most distinct featuresI learned about this religion is that there are only around 200,000 followers,at most. The religion is believe to beextinct within 100 years due to the practices and rules the followers have toobey.
Another interesting fact Ilearned, is that this is one of the first monotheistic religions ever. ‘ Works Cited Guillemin, Jacques, Zoroasrtrianism Religion, Jan. 19, 2018 Dowley, Tim “Introduction to Worl Religions” -Pages 92-96