Introduction / History
Did you know that the lead singer of the rock group Queen, Freddy Mercury, was a descendant of Persians who live in India? Many Persians still practice the ancient Persian pre-Islamic religion of Zoroastrianism. They left Persia to escape Muslim persecution. Other Persians in India are Sunni Muslims fled Iran to leave the persecution by the majority Shia. Other Shia Muslim Persians came to India with Babar the founder of the Mughal Dynasty in 1525. The Parsis are some of the wealthiest, most successful people in India. Most speak Hindi, English and the local languages where they live.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Parsis own businesses and work in the professions. Parsi parents strongly encourage their sons and daughters to graduate from universities. They are among the best educated people in India. They are physicians, engineers, scientists, and leaders in finance. The Parsis tend to marry within their group although marry outside their people is becoming more common. They live in modern Indian cities yet at the same time endeavor to preserve their unique culture and customs.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Persians typically follow Shia Islam or Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism is the ancient faith of Persia sometimes called "the religion of fire." The prophet Zoroaster began the religion back the in sixth century BC. He taught that life as a cosmological battle between the good, wise God and forces of evil. The good God will triumph in the end times according to their sacred writings. Modern scholars have a difficult time classifying Zoroastrianism since there is no one leader or uniform tradition. Zoroastrian theology features the importance of following the Threefold Path revolving around Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds. The believer is to practice charity and venerate nature as God's creation. Zoroastrians are typically against conversion. One must be born into a Zoroastrian family to participate in the religion.
What Are Their Needs?
The Persians need to hear about the true Prophet, Priest and King, Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and bring them into a personal, loving relationship with the God of the Bible. They need to understand that wealth and success will not bring them peace of mind or lasting joy.
Pray for a spiritual hunger that will give the Persians a willingness to search and find the true God. Pray for a disciple making movement that among the Persians in India this decade. Pray for the Lord to send out workers to the Persian people and tell them about Jesus, the good news of God.
Scripture Prayers for the Persian in India.