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Cults and World Religions

Zoroastrianism



This once widespread religion has almost died from existence. It is more closely connected to the Bible than any other religion (except, of course, for Judaism and Christianity). It derives its name from the Zoroastrian kings of Persia, three of whom are named in the Bible – Cyrus, Ahasuerus, and Darius.

This is a religion formed by one man, Spitoma Zoroaster (c. 628-551 B.C.). Born at a time when multiple gods were popular in Persia, Zoroaster had a series of visions which caused him to move one god, Ahura Mazda, the God of light, to the forefront and give him complete supremacy. Through a series of holy wars, Zoroastrianism became the religion of the Persian Empire. When Islam invaded Persia, the followers of Zoroastrianism either fled or died.

Zoroastrianism is a religion of dualism, but not the dualism of gnosticism. Rather, the religion paints the picture of a constant struggle between good and evil. Ahura Mazda (good) will eventually be triumphant.

The religion has a “works” salvation that is high in moral standards. Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds are the cornerstones. There will be a final resurrection and judgment of the dead. There is a heaven and hell concept. Those in hell who are evil will ultimately be destroyed in a fiery stream of molten metal. Angra Mainyu, the evil god, and his demons will also be annihilated. Before these judgments occur, a savior will appear.

Fire plays a major role in the rituals of the temple.

 

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November 14, 2018

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