Like other aspects of globalization, social integration threatens cultural uniqueness. And Jews aren’t the only ones sounding the alarm. Among Parsis living in the West, intermarriage rates are roughly the same as those for Jews. But the existential calculus for Zoroastrians is more dire, as a posting on zoroastrian.com points out. “The world Jewish population is about 13,000,000,” the author of “Save the Parsi!” notes. “The world Parsi/Irani population is 130,000 . . . If the Jews are in grave danger due to intermarriage, what would you say about the Parsis?”
Exacerbating the problem for Zoroastrians is their religion’s tenet against conversion, and its policy of not recognizing half-Parsis, such as my husband. Calls to slow the group’s decline by loosening these restrictions are being hotly debated. A parallel conversation is underway within Judaism.
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