Zoroastrians in Kurdistan

ZAMWI members were not alone in discounting information last year on this site, that the Kurdish Yezedis whom ISIL  was then slaughtering besides raping their young girls and women and turning into sex slaves, have practiced a form of  Zoroastrianism for centuries. Or, that several from other Kurdish sects in Syria & Iraq were also practicing  Zoroastrians for years.

Not unlike our Zoroastrian communities in Canada, US & UK, they preferred to believe the journalistic reports in US  and particularly UK newspapers, including the Financial Times, that the Yezedi faith was not Zoroastrian, but a polyglot of different ones, with only a trace of ours.. They all chose to ignore reports given at the time, and those in Zoroastrian publications many years ago, that Yezedis and quite a few other Kurds believed in the teachings of Zarathustra that were given by senior Iranian and Parsi Zoroastrian professionals who had met them and been approached by them in the early to mid 70s to help facilitate contact and recognition by other Zoroastrians.

The latest pictures shown below, reflect the current zeal of those who are not Zoroastrian, to espouse our faith.  What many may not know, is that after what ISIL did to their Yezedi sect, Kurds prevailed on their Kurdish Parliament to  amend their State’s constitution to include Zoroastrianism as one of the official recognized religions. They are now  close to persuading that Parliament to include some Zoroastrian parliamentarians to represent them in it.

It is reported that Zoroastrianism’s growth in Kurdistan, is astonishing and there is not a single day when a dozen people do not contact one of the few Zoroastrian Centers to learn about the faith or become a  Zoroastrian. Through several Facebook pages, websites and other outlets, these have been able to answer people’s questions & provide material on Zoroastrian literature. The Kurdish Zoroastrian  community has now become several times larger than it was some years back. In Iraq, they are so intrigued by Zoroaster & filled with questions about his teachings, that the Centers are working hard to respond. One priest alone, claims to have tied the Zoroastrian belt (Kashti) for at least 100 people:


  • Just curious….if the ancient Persian Empire encompassed the whole region, including modern day Kurdistan; and, Zarathustra himself died in modern day Afghanistan; then, how can it be said that Yezedis and other groups from the old Persian Empire are not former Zoroastrians and their modern ancestors cannot continue to practice some elements of the faith? In my travels around Iran, I found many Muslim Iranians who profess to be Zoroastrian even though they pray at a mosque and observe Ramadan. Many of them showed me Faravahar necklaces that they always wore. I also saw this in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, where some men wear kusti cords, snap them into the air before prayer, pray in the Muslim kneeling style but towards a fire rather than Mecca, I took this as a sign of culture and religion evolving over time. Why be offended? To me it shows the historical importance of Zoroastrianism and how much it contributed to humanity. Are my observations wrong? As I said, just curious.

  • It was as I recall Dr. Meher Master-Moos who had indicated that the Zoroastrians are spread all over incl Brazil, China. The Kurds also have origins based on Zoroastrianism it appears. It is high time our World Zoroastrian Congress Committee identifies and invites many “related” citizens of the world and create a larger Zoroastrians community. It is time that we must take a larger viewpoint and connect with all those professing the religious temets even if they have digressed for a few generations. Indian Parsis have a stellar role to play. Hope the new BPP will spend a considerable time in uniting the “World’s Zoroastrians”. Let us “Parsis” be a part of this larger community. Let’s start knitting the broken threads to create a larger cavas of Zoroastrian brotherhood. B Patel mumbai 9821346761


  • As a Jew and a lover of peace I would like to see many Islamic people convert to Zoroastrianism for their own sake as well as the future of the region,

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