Zoroastrians try to beat extinction
The New Zealand Herald : 5:00 AM Friday May 15, 2015
World youth congress in Auckland in December is a bid to get followers to marry within the faith, writes Lincoln Tan.
From left, Zoroastrians Tinaz Karbhari with Sanaya Master and Kainaz Jasmasbnejad. Photo / Brett Phibbs
One of the world’s oldest religions is facing extinction, and will be fighting for its survival in Auckland.
Zoroastrianism, founded about 3500 years ago and considered to be among the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, has a tiny number of followers here.
But that number is also shrinking, dropping from 1071 in 2006 to just 972 at the last Census.
In India, where most Zoroastrians live, the numbers have halved since 1940 to about 61,000.
They believe in one god, Ahura Mazda, and follow the teachings of ancient Prophet Zoroaster. They worship in fire temples, believing fire to be a symbol of God’s purity.
The religion has its roots in Persia and adherents are also known as Parsis.
The community will be organising a world youth congress in December, to be held in Auckland, in a bid to get followers to marry within the faith.
Courtesy : Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman of Secunderabad and Hyderabad