Persecution of Zoroastrians was the religious persecution inflicted upon the followers of the Zoroastrian faith. The persecution of Zoroastrians occurred throughout its history. The discrimination and harassment began in the form of sparse violence and forced conversions. Muslims are recorded to have destroyed fire temples. Zoroastrians living under Muslims rule were required to pay a tax called Jizya.
Zoroastrian places of worship were desecrated, shrines were destroyed and Mosques built in their place. Many libraries were burned and much cultural heritage was lost. Gradually there were increased number of laws regulating Zoroastrian behavior, limiting their ability to participate in society. Over time, persecution of Zoroastrians became more common and widespread, and the number of believers decreased significantly.
Many converted, some superficially, to escape the systematic abuse and discrimination by the law of the land. Once a Zoroastrian family converted to Islam, the children had to go to an Islamic school and learn Arabic and the teachings of the Quran and these children lost their Zoroastrian identity, although under the Samanids, who were Zoroastrian converts to Islam, the Persian language flourished. On occasion, the Zoroastrian clergy assisted Muslims against who they deemed as Zoroastrian heretics.
At other times, Zoroastrians persecuted other Zoroastrians, in what were deemed heretical Zoroastrian sects. According to Hinnells, persecution is pivotal to Zoroastrians' sense of identity, and as the Jewish communities cannot be understood without an appreciation of the reality of anti-Semitism, so too the Zoroastrian experience of exclusion must be taken into account.
Read more about Persecution Of Zoroastrians: Persecution of Minority Zoroastrian Groups By Other Zoroastrians, Persecution of Zoroastrians By Christians, See Also
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“That diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution rages among some [people] and to their eternal Infamy the clergy can furnish their Quota of Imps for such business.”
—James Madison (17511836)