Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

FEZANA’s Participation at the 2018 Parliament of World’s Religions

NORTH AMERICAN ZOROASTRIAN RELIGIOUS, COMMUNITY LEADERS TO REPRESENT ANCIENT FAITH AT 7TH PARLIAMENT OF WORLD’S RELIGIONS, NOV. 1-7, IN TORONTO

Fezana-Logo-Finals-ZC-28032017Burr Ridge, Illinois, Oct. 18, 2018 – FEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, today announced a contingent of North American Zoroastrian religious and community leaders will represent the faith at the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions, Nov. 1-7, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Zoroastrians have been represented at all Parliament events, including the inaugural in 1893, where a paper by Sir J.J. Modi was read aloud in absentia.

parliament-fezanaFeaturing the theme: The Promise of Inclusion, the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change, the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions is the oldest, largest, most diverse and inclusive global interfaith event and will feature a total of 1000 sessions and 1600 speakers across six major tracks.

Zoroastrians will participate in a total of 16 presentations as individuals or panelists. Following are highlights. For a complete rundown visit: http://fezana.org/pwr

· Opening plenary evening presentation by keynote speaker, strategic adviser and multi-award-winning veteran journalist and news executive, Parisa Khosravi.

· Two exhibit booths will spotlight the Zoroastrian religion:

o the FEZANA booth will feature its acclaimed FIRES information research and education system, background information on the religion and its presence in North America;

o and another booth will be located at the Parliament’s Family Festival Fair, where participating religious groups will showcase fun activities to expose children to the beauty of the world’s religions.

· Fire (Boi) and water purification ceremony at Olympic Park with the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation by Ervad Tehemton Mirza.

· Jashan ceremony by Ervad Jehan Bagli and Mobedyar Guloo Austin.

· Women’s Task Force featuring a major presentation by Armene Modi.

· Visit to the Zoroastrian Society of Ontario’s Rustom Guiv Dar e Mehr as part of the Sacred Spaces excursion to local places of worship.

· Monajats sung by a Zoroastrian choir, and an On the Wings of Fire film viewing.

· Unveiling a model of the new Atash kadeh Zoroastrian center in Houston.

Zoroastrians are followers of one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions founded by the prophet Zarathushtra more than 3,000 years ago in ancient Iran. Zoroastrians have long-served as bridge builders in interfaith dialogue, believing in truth, righteousness, charity, beneficence, respect for the environment and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.

QUOTES:

Parisa Khosravi, opening plenary keynote speaker, strategic advisor, and multi-award-winning veteran journalist and news executive:

“I believe regardless of where we come from, our varied backgrounds and traditions are what we offer, and our differences add to the richness of our great human civilization. I will expand on the theme of inclusion and love and talk about how we’ll never know what is inside someone until we give them a chance.”

Dolly Dastoor Ph.D, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Parliament of World Religions; past President, FEZANA:

“We have an amazing community in North America comprised of leaders who rally to put their best foot forward to project a positive image of the Zoroastrians. Parliament organizers have worked hard to make this milestone event an interfaith celebration that celebrates religious diversity, inclusivity, love and tolerance.”

Homi D. Gandhi, President, FEZANA

“We are proud and excited to represent our storied faith at the 7th Parliament of World’s Religions, where our goals are to spotlight and educate on our faith, build bridges with fellow attendees, and work hard to advance — The Promise of Inclusion, The Power of Love — a theme that couldn’t be more relevant and appropriate for our times.”

Zoroastrianism flourished as the imperial religion of three Persian empires, those of the Achaemenians, Parthians and Sassanians, and was the dominant religion from Turkey, and eastward to China during those times. North America’s Zoroastrian community includes those who arrived from the Indian subcontinent, known as Parsis, and those who came directly from Iran seeking religious freedom.

About the Parliament of the World’s Religions

The Parliament of the World’s Religions (PoWR) is the oldest, largest, most diverse and inclusive convening organization of the global interfaith movement.  PoWR’s mission is to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. As a global convening organization PoWR has previously held Parliaments in Chicago, Illinois, (1893 and 1993); Cape Town, South Africa (1999); Barcelona, Spain (2004); Melbourne, Australia (2009); and Salt Lake City, Utah (2015).

About FEZANA

Founded in 1987, FEZANA serves as the coordinating body for 26 Zoroastrian member associations and 14 corresponding groups throughout the United States and Canada. FEZANA promotes the study, understanding and practice of the Zoroastrian faith in North America. FEZANA represents the interests of its member associations, and carries out philanthropic and charitable activities worldwide. FEZANA Journal, FEZANA’s publication of record, circulates to Zoroastrian households in more than 22 countries, as well as to scholars, academicians and religious organizations worldwide. www.fezana.org

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Media contact: Jim Engineer | FEZANA Media Relations | jim @ fezana <dot> org