Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Zoroastrianism in Iran today

Zoroastrianism, one of the classic religions of antiquity, seems to be getting a bit of press recently. There's a big five-day festival and the foreign press seems to be using this as a hook to cover the state of the religion in Iran, its ancient homeland.

Above you see part of a picture feature at BBC News. I can't see a date anywhere so perhaps it's been there for a while. The feature will give you a few basic facts, no more. More substantial is an article in the Guardian, always a source of good things, that talks about discrimination against the Zoroastrians by the Islamic Republic. Are things better or worse than they were under the Shah? People disagree.

The article refers to "forced mass conversions" to Islam after the 7th century. I'm under the impression that most scholars doubt the existence of "forced mass conversions." But you can see from the article how lesser pressures over a long period might have the same effect.

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