History of Zoroastrianism

Fast Facts: History of Zoroastrianism
Overview Based on teachings of Zoroaster in 6th cent. BCE Persia. Official religion of ancient Persia. May have influenced Judaism and Vedic religion.
Date Founded estimated between 12th and 6th century BCE
Place Founded Ancient Persia
Founder(s) Zoroaster
Main Locations Today India, Iran
Current Adherents 200,000

Zarathustra (in Greek, Zoroaster) was a Persian prophet who at the age of 30 believed he had seen visions of God, whom is Ahura Mazda, the creator of all that is good and who alone is worthy of worship. This was a departure from previous Indo-Persian polytheism, and Zarathustra has been termed the first non-biblical monotheist.

There is disagreement among scholars as to exactly when and where Zarathustra lived, but most agree that he lived in eastern Iran around the sixth century BCE.

Zoroastrianism became the official religion of the Persian Empire, but it virtually disappeared in Persia after the Muslim invasion of 637 CE. Only about 10,000 survive in remote villages in Iran, but over the centuries many sought religious freedom in India. Today, most Zoroastrians are in India, where they are called Parsiis and number about 200,000.


  1. Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques. “Zoroastrianism.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 27 January 2017.
  2. Zoroastrianism.” BBC Religion & Ethics.
  3. “Zoroastrianism.” Hinnells, John R. (ed.), Penguin Dictionary of Religions (London: Penguin Books). "...Zoroaster (c. 1200 BCE). The history of the religion prior to the 6th century is largely unknown."

Article Info

Title History of Zoroastrianism
Last UpdatedJanuary 29, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/zoroastrianism/history
Short URLrlft.co/981
MLA Citation “History of Zoroastrianism.” ReligionFacts.com. 29 Jan. 2021. Web. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021. <religionfacts.com/zoroastrianism/history>