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Comparing Zoroastrianism and Christianity

Zoroastrianism
Christianity
Founder Zoroaster, a man from Persia (Iran). Zoroaster is also called Zarathustra. Jesus Christ, the Son of God
Who they worship A god called Ahura Mazda The God of the Bible, the Creator of the universe
Holy book The Avesta The Holy Bible
Main symbol Fire The cross
What followers are called Zoroastrians (also called Parsees in some places) Christians
Number of followers in the world today Over 2 million, mostly in Asia. (80,000 in North America) Over 2 billion
Salvation Zoroastrians believe the way to heaven is by doing good works to please their god. They believe that “three truths”—Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds—will please him. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Iran: Crime Scene Investigation

Iran

Note: Some of the quotes in this story were edited and paraphrased from the original source for clarity.

Sarah is a girl from Iran. When she was 10 years old, about the age of the Iranian girl in the photo to the left, a scary thing happened to her, her older sister, and her parents.

“One Sunday around lunch time, there was a knock at our door,” said Sarah. “Some men came into our home with walkie-talkies and guns at their sides. They came with a search warrant to search our home. They put all four of us into one room while they searched the rest of the house.”

The men were police who were looking for evidence of a crime. Sarah’s father, a taxi driver, had given Christian pamphlets and New Testaments to Muslims. In Iran, that is a crime.

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Iran: “I Couldn’t Wait to Share Jesus”

Iran

Growing Up Muslim
“Sara” (not her real name) is a woman in Iran. She grew up in a Muslim family. Even when she was very young, she thought about eternal things. “I wanted the Truth,” she told workers from The Voice of the Martyrs.

Muslims worship Allah; they believe he is the creator of the universe. Muslims believe they should pray five times a day at certain times, in certain ways, saying certain words. Sara saw other Muslims praying to Allah.

“As a young girl,” said Sara, “I asked my mom and dad if I could learn how to pray the prayers. I would lay out my white prayer cloth on the floor then place another cloth on top, then lay down a handkerchief with a stone. We have to put our nose on the stone.”

Christians know that we are saved from sin by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Muslims depend on their own good works to please Allah. They believe Allah will allow them to enter paradise when they die if they have done enough good works. Sara became known as someone who was working very hard to earn her way to paradise.

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Seven-Year-Old Boy Strengthens Iranian Believers

Iran

Christians in Iran have told The Voice of the Martyrs about a 7-year-old Iranian Christian boy. The boy used to be a Muslim. When he was born, his parents gave him the name of a well-known relative of Mohammed. Mohammed was the founder of the Muslim religion.

When Muslims in Iran become Christians, many of them begin to use Christian names instead of the Muslim names they were born with. When the 7-year-old boy decided to follow Christ, he did not change his name. “I want people to know that even someone with my name can be saved!” he said.

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Iran

Iran

Iran

RESTRICTED

Capital
Tehran

Size
In area, Iran is a little smaller than Alaska.

Main Languages
Farsi (Persian)

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 3 p.m. in Tehran.

Interesting Fact
Iran used to be called Persia. The body of water between Iran and Saudi Arabia is commonly known as the Persian Gulf. But most Arab countries call it the Arabian Gulf. In 2010, Iran threatened to ban or seize airplanes of any airline that called it the Arabian Gulf if their planes flew over Iran.

History
Iran used to be ruled by royalty, and the ruler was called the “shah.” In 1979, the shah was overthrown. Since then, Iran has been ruled by Muslim law. The U.S. and Iran have not had good relations in recent years. In 1979, radical Muslims captured the U.S. Embassy in Iran and held the Americans in the embassy hostage for a little more than a year.

Religion
About 99 percent of the people in Iran are Muslims.

Persecution
It is against the law to openly witness about Jesus to Muslims. Thousands are learning the Good News from satellite TV, the Internet, and Christians who witness secretly to them. Government spies watch Christians, and pastors and other Christians risk being arrested.