Zoroastrianism influence on other religion
The aim this essay is to learn, understand, analyze and critique Zoroastrianism. I’ve learned through different sources that Zoroastrianism is one of the most ancient revealed religion of the world which had an immense influence on other religious systems. Analysis of various different texts indicates that Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion since it adheres to the doctrine that there is the existence of one God or in the Oneness of God. I believe that Zoroastrianism provided a foundation for the development of other faiths since the different religious groups apply its basic concepts. The four main religious groups of the world (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism) believe in a supreme being who is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. The main religious groups also share the belief of duality in existence between good and evil forces, but good will ultimately triumph over evil. Critically looking at the concept monotheistic, one can conclude that the main religious groups in the world borrowed the idea of a single God from Zoroastrianism. Sources indicate that Zoroastrianism was founded approximately 3500m years by the prophet Zoroaster in the ancient Persia which is the modern day Iran.
This research raises more questions as to why there is so much religious intolerance and hatred in the world yet most of the religious groups share the essential principles and values. Currently, there is an increase in religious intolerance in the world which has stirred violence and division along different religious groups. I think this traces back to how people are raised and where they were raised. The religion of a person is rarely based on any free will but the circumstances and the surrounding of the individual. Most people are born a religion based on the beliefs of their parents or guardians, ethnicity, geographical position and community in which they are. The problem is that most of us we are not taught to respect diversity and different point of views of religion. Hence, we are raised to think one religion is better or superior to another thus increasing religious intolerance.
Another question that the research raises is as to why the Zoroastrianism religion despite being very influential and powerful, faded away throughout the centuries. Zoroastrianism has a relatively small following today with approximately 200,000 faithful’s in the world. Research argues that Zoroastrianism religion dominated Persia in the mid-7th century and now only a handful of its followers are left. Arab invasion and subsequent Muslim conquest were considered some of the factors that led to the diminishment of the religion. It is because they were subjected to discrimination, forceful conversion to Islam, discrimination, and violence. Thus most of those who practiced Zoroastrianism converted into Islam religion.
This intrigues me because all religious groups (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) have been one era or another exposed to these similar circumstances of persecution but have remained dominant throughout the centuries and in the current world. Christians, Muslims and also Jews have undergone persecution across Europe and Asian but still the religious groups have become resilient and have spread. So why didn’t Zoroastrianism become resilient and spread like other religious groups? I believe religion is the greatest form of escapism; it gives hope to those who seek answers in this complicated and confusing world. Hence people tend to cling to the religion that give them a sense of hope, religion that best meets their desires and needs. Therefore, one can argue that man became aware of his or her mortality. Religion was the best form of escapism since there are a lot of mysteries about how the world works that science can’t explain like death. Therefore, I think Zoroastrianism as a religion never offered a firm conviction, a solution to the miseries of the world. Consequently, people resort to other faiths that were perceived to be better and had answers to their burning questions.
One concept about Zoroastrianism that I agree with is the teaching on the divinity of all creation in the world. It is because the Zoroastrians believe God created the living and non-living things, and also invisible entities with light from Himself. Therefore the religion believes that everything is sacred and divine. Hence the religion advocates that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep all creation pure and maintain order. I think this concept addresses nature and environment which should be maintained pure and be conserved.
I experienced a spiritual epiphany I campus during an interfaith poetry slam jam that I decided to attend the school. Though I am not a religious person, poetry is one favorite thing to listen and read. Students from different faiths were pouring out their souls by expressing themselves on the microphone. There was intensity given to the expression of ideas and feeling from various points of views of the religious group from the artists. There were different poets with different faiths, but they send the same message; love, life after death, forgiveness and belief in a supreme God. This reading reminds me of that experience that I had in campus since Zoroastrianism is a religion that believes in the afterlife, that death is a result of the spirit leaving the body.
The most awakening idea from the reading is the concept of divinity in all entities. All things that are created by God are divine according to the teaching in Zoroastrianism. Currently, the world is facing the challenge of global warming and climate change. Most of the causes of global warming are human-made activities which are destroying the environment and unsustainable use of environmental resources. Zoroastrian religion advices the faithful to be responsible for keeping every creation pure and in order. Therefore, if people treated nature as divine, there would be sustainable development in the world since conservation and preservation of the environment would be taken seriously in order to please God.
V, Jarayam. Zoroastrianism-import Beliefs of Zoroastrianism. n.d. 05 Nov. 2015<http://www.hinduwebsite.com/zoroastrianism/beliefs.asp>1 February 2017..
“Zoroastrianism.” ReligionFacts.com. <www.religionfacts.com/zoroastrianism> Web. Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.