Zoroastrianism, also known as Zoroastrianism, is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion, which is often misunderstood as a fire-worshipping religion. Photo/Francis Mascarenhas/REUTERS
JAKARTA – Zoroastrianism otherwise known as Zoroastrianism is a religion Persia ancient that is thought to date from 3,500 or even 4,000 years ago. It is considered the world’s first monotheistic faith and is often misunderstood as a fire-worshipping religion.
Zoroastrianism, as quoted from History, Friday (2/6/2023) was recorded as the state religion of three Persian dynasties, until the Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th century AD. Once the largest religion, now it is the religion with the smallest number of adherents.
When Persia was conquered by Muslims, adherents of Zoroastrianism—which were called Zoroastrians or Parsis—emigrated to India. Zoroastrianism is now estimated to have between 100,000 and 200,000 adherents worldwide, and is currently practiced as a minority religion in parts of Iran and India.
Zoroastrianism is synonymous with the name Zoroaster—a prophet figure known in ancient Persian as Zarathrustra. The prophet Zoroaster is considered the founder of Zoroastrianism.
Most of what is known about Zoroastrian comes from the Avesta—the collection of holy books of the Zoroastrian religion. It is not clear exactly when Zoroaster lived.
Some scholars believe that he was a contemporary of Cyrus the Great, a king of the Persian Empire in the 6th century BCE, although most linguistic and archaeological evidence points to an earlier date—between 1500 and 1200 BCE.
Zoroaster is thought to have been born in what is now northeastern Iran or southwest Afghanistan. He probably lived in a tribe that followed an ancient religion with many gods (polytheism). This religion is most likely similar to early forms of Hinduism.
According to Zoroastrian tradition, Zoroaster had a divine vision of a supreme being while taking part in a pagan purification ritual at the age of 30. Zoroaster began to teach his followers to worship a god named Ahura Mazda.
In the 1990s, Russian archaeologists at Gonur Tepe, a Bronze Age site in Turkmenistan, uncovered the remains of what they believe to be an early Zoroastrian fire temple. This temple dates from the 2nd millennium BC, making it the earliest known site associated with Zoroastrianism.
Zoroastrianism Religion of the Persian Empire
Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, was a devout Zoroastrian. In general, Cyrus was a tolerant ruler who allowed his non-Iranian subjects to practice their own religion.