SHAFAQNA- “Zoroastrians and followers of other religions live in peace in different cities of Iran and have the freedom to hold religious ceremonies and act according to their religion. Peace is a common principle of all religions, and being together removes barriers to communication between their followers”.
On the occasion of the 25th of December, the death anniversary of Zarathustra, Secretary-General of the International Foundation for Reverence of Religions (IFRR), in an interview with Shafaqna, stating that the religion of Zoroastrianism is recognized in the Islamic Republic of Iran, said: “Zoroastrians have always been respected and live in peace with the followers of other religious minorities in different parts of Iran.”
Mohammad Mahdi Momeniha emphasized that according to Article No.13 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Zoroastrians have the freedom to hold religious ceremonies and act according to their religion and considered the presence of Zoroastrians’ representatives in the Islamic Consultative Assembly as another sign of attention to Zoroastrian followers in Iran.
According to him, if we look at the words of the great Aryan Prophet Ashu Zarathushtra Spitama, who is a preacher of good thoughts, good words and good deeds, it becomes clear that thousands of years before the Greeks, he emphasized the indicators of free thought, democracy and human rights.
The Secretary-General of the International Foundation for Reverence of Religions (IFRR) while noting that in another part of Zoroastrian teachings, the messenger of rationalism and freedom of thought, it has been given that in order to create peace, stability, progress and happiness for living in the world, people must choose the right people, reminded: “The 25th of December is the anniversary of the death of Zoroaster, the Iranian prophet, and on this day, Iranian Zoroastrians in different cities celebrate this day with public worship”.
According to him, the 25th of December in the Iranian Zoroastrian calendar is the only day that is not a celebration, but it is not a day of mourning; On this day, Zoroastrians gather and pray, recite the Gathas, and cook the pottage, but do not mourn or wear black clothes in any way.
Momeniha added: “In Tehran and the Zoroastrian neighborhoods in Yazd, Ardakan, Taft, Meybod, various rituals are held by the followers of this religion on the 25th of December, and in this ceremony, one of the Zoroastrian priests recites parts of the Avesta and the Zoroastrians pray in groups”.
According to him, another tradition of this ceremony is to smoke incense and joss stick for the happiness of the spirits of dead people, and at the end of the prayer and supplication ceremony, packages of nuts and snacks will be distributed among the Zoroastrians. According to Zoroastrian tradition, women should wear white headscarves in the fire temple and men should wear white hats.
The Secretary-General of the International Foundation for Reverence of Religions (IFRR) announced that the number of Zoroastrians in the world is about 150,000 and added: “30,000 Zoroastrians live in Iran, about 6,000 of whom live in Yazd province.
Momeniha considered the most famous Zoroastrian shrine “Chak Chak” in Ardakan city and pointed to other famous Zoroastrian buildings of Fire Temple (AtashKadeh-e) and Towers of Silence (Zoroastrians’ Dakhmeh) in Yazd city.”
He stressed that all religions invite human to monotheism, morality, spirituality, resurrection and the hereafter, and this means that they are one in principle, and in the text of the heavenly religions, they are invited to peace and togetherness, so there is no content barrier to interfaith communication.