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The Zoroastrians of Esfahan

Zoroastrians are amongst the initial citizens and the local people of old Esfahan, Gabay, Gay, or Jey that lived in the two ancient and historical areas of Sarouyeh and Mehrin, now known as "Tappeh-e-Ashraf and the Atashgah, respectively. Regarding this fact, the only surviving ancient Esfahan is the Atashgah which belonged to the Zoroastrians. A quick review of their background in this region along with the Jewish tribe that founded the city Sepahan (Esfahan) is well worth mentioning.

Yazd Fire Temple

Faravahar (or Ferohar), one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism, is believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi or the Khvarenah

After the conquest of Esfahan by the Arabs, (7th century), the local people had three choices: first, to stay in their homeland and pay annual taxation (Jazieh): second, to convert to Islam, or third, to emigrate from the homeland to the eastern lands. According to the chronicles of Esfahan, one can rarely find any information about the followers of Ahura Mazda (the God of this monotheistic religion). History has it that they were living in the south of the Zayandeh Rood and on the east of the Julfa Quarter in a parish called; Gabre Abad during the Safavid Dynasty. Concurrent with Shah Abbas II reign, due to the Sufis' dominance over the Shiite sect, the Zoroastrians were the target of greater pressure than the Jews. As a result, their silent tower (Dakhmch) was the target of cannonade on the foothills of the Soffeh Mt., subsequently, more restrictions were imposed on them in the capital. Also, some other groups of Zoroastrians left Estahan for Yard and Kerman. No evidence was found about the last time, the holy fire was still burning in the Atashgah (8 kilometers west of Esfahan), however, it was active probably up to the 17th century A.D. At the present, there are 248 Zoroastrians, consisting of 60 families in Esfahan with a new fire temple called; Darb-e-Mehr-e-Gohar-va-Mehraban", in the Sichan Quarter located at No.24 Sichan Alley Nazar-e-Sharghi Ave. The Zoroastrian community has one representative in the parliament.