CREDOS : Zoroastrianism

Zarathustra (in Greek, Zoroaster) was a Persian prophet who at the age of 30 believed he had seen visions of God, whom he called 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 though monotheism in Zoroastrianism never took on the absolute quality that it assumed in Judaism and Islam. Most scholars agree that Zarathustra lived in eastern Iran probably around the sixth century BC.

Zoroastrian theology is strongly dualistic. In his visions, Zarathustra was taken up to heaven, where Ahura Mazda revealed that he had an opponent, Aura Mainyu, the spirit and promoter of evil. Ahura Mazda charged Zarathustra with the task of inviting all human beings to choose between him (good) and Aura Mainyu (evil). Consequently, Zoroastrianism is a highly ethical religion. Zarathustra taught that humans are free to choose between right and wrong, truth and lie, and light and dark, and that their acts, words, and thoughts would affect their lives after death.

He was thus the first to promote a belief in two heavenly judgments: of the individual soul right after death and of all humankind after a general resurrection. Zoroastrianism all but 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. —