Zoroastrianism is among the oldest or perhaps it is the oldest monotheistic religion in the world according to Robinson (2012). It is estimated that it was established almost 3500 years ago in ancient Iran by Prophet Zoroaster. The period from 600 BCE to 650 BCE experienced Zoroastrianism as the formal religion of Persia (Iran), making it one of the world’s most influential religions for almost 1000 years (ReligionFacts, 2012). Consequently, the religion serves as a bridge between the Eastern and the Western religions. It also had influence on other religions and currently, there is a renewed interest in Zoroastrianism as discussed in this paper.
As the bridge between the Western and the Eastern religions, the Zoroastrians concept of God integrates both monotheism and dualism. Those from the West believe there is only one God while those from the East believe in many gods. For instance, upon being taken up to heaven Zarathustra met Ahura Mazda who disclosed having a rival, the spirit in charge of evil referred to as Aura Mainyu. The entire human race was therefore required to decide on one, either good (Ahura Mazda) or evil (Ahura Mainyu). It is therefore apparent that the religion links the West and the East (Robinson, 2012).
The religion has also influenced other religions such as Islam, Judaism and Christianity greatly. According to ReligionFacts (2012), its ideas of “ethical monotheism, the messiah figure, the body’s resurrection, angelology and heaven and hell” as advocated by Zoroaster are entrenched in the teachings of the named religions. The religion’s original efforts at fusing “the worship of only one supreme god”, cuts across such present religion (Robinson, 2012). The Christians and Muslims for instance, give man a free choice to choose either good or evil and because of this he must go through the struggle, the outcomes of which highly determine the afterlife as in the case of the teachings of Zoroastrian. Heaven awaits those with more good deeds as opposed to those with more evil deeds who will go to hell. The Zoroastrians also embrace confession and praying for the departed soul’s forgiveness, just like the Roman Catholics do (ReligionFacts, 2012).
To sum up the whole discussion, there is a renewed interest in Zoroastrianism today because of its values and beliefs that are highly entrenched in the current religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Muslim. Believed as the world’s oldest religion, many people are now studying it and many documentaries about it are currently available.
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