Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Not a religious group that has grabbed many headlines for the past two or three thousand years, Zorastrianism is on the brink of dying out:
“We were once at least 40, 50 million — can you imagine?” said Mr. Antia, senior priest at the fire temple here in suburban Chicago. “At one point we had reached the pinnacle of glory of the Persian Empire and had a beautiful religious philosophy that governed the Persian kings.

“Where are we now? Completely wiped out,” he said. “It pains me to say, in 100 years we won’t have many Zoroastrians.”

There is a palpable panic among Zoroastrians today — not only in the United States, but also around the world — that they are fighting the extinction of their faith, a monotheistic religion that most scholars say is at least 3,000 years old.

I actually discussed Zoroastrianism in a history lecture a week or so ago. Politically we'd be a lot better off if Persia were still dominated by Zoroastrians.

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