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Evolution of the Zarathushti community in North America [i]


















It is over 100 years that the first Zarathushti  arrived on the North American continent and much advancement has been made in the history of Zoroastrianisn which historians will judge and write about in the next 50 years. The story is unfolding dramatically and its chapters are full of progress and hope. Zarathushtis in North America have matured as a community and have become the largest population outside India and Iran.  We realize that we are living in rapidly changing times and we do not have the luxury of taking for granted the infrastructures that were inherited by us in our countries of origin. We are creating our own infrastructures, making our own mistakes, we are creating history as we go along and putting our own stamp on the practice and interpretation of the religion as all generations do.  We have created an unparalleled range of centers that house our religious social and welfare needs, eight religious centers have been established which to some may seem like a travesty of the practice of religion but to us are very precious.

1892  is the year we can trace the arrival of the first Zarathushti in San Francisco area, his name Pestonji Framji Daver, his son Jamshed, to the best of our knowledge, was the first Zarathushti to be born on this continent but he died a Christian. The early 1900s saw the arrival of several Zarathushtis to New York from India. All these pioneers did well, amassed vast fortunes, one Dinshaw Ghadiali joined the American Army, retired as a commander and was awarded the Liberty medal for outstanding service during the war[ii]. Numbers began to increase in the 50s in Canada with the revision of the immigration policy and in the 60s numbers began to increase in the United States. A directory was published, societies, associations and organizations started to come into existence. The first attempt to form an association was in New York in November 1929, however it died its natural death with the death of its promoter and benefactor Phiroze Saklatwala[iii].

History separated the Zoroastrians into Iran and India and later into East Africa, Pakistan, South East Asia, Europe, and later North America. After hundreds of years of separation, unique circumstances in East Africa, Iran and India, brought Zarathushtis together on this continent. How did we react to this coming together in the diaspora, did we combine our various cultural and social differences to evolve into a new Zarathushti personality or did we fragment more.

Scattered as Zarathushtis were across the continent, they gradually came together to form associations, build communities, and community structures, and provide a sense of identity and security to the second generation. The associations in order of their establishment are

Zoroastrian Association of Quebec


Zoroastrian Society of British Columbia


Zoroastrian Society of Ontario  


Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York  


Zoroastrian Association of California 


Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago  


Zoroastrian Association of Houston 


Zoroastrian Association of Met. Washington


Zoroastrian Association of Pennsylvania & New  Jersey


California Zoroastrian Centre


Zartoshti Anjuman of Northern California


Zoroastrian Association of Alberta


Persian Zoroastrian Organization 


Zoroastrian Association of Pennsylvania 


Zoroastrian Association of Greater Boston Area  


Iranian Zoroastrian Association  


Zoroastrian Association of North Texas


Traditional Mazdayasni Zoroastrian Anjuman


Zoroastrian Association of Kansas


Zoroastrian Society of Washington State


Zoroastrian Association of Atlantic Canada


Zoroastrian Association of Arizona


Zoroastrian Association of Rocky Mountain


Ontario Zoroastrian Community  Foundation


Zoroastrian Association of Tampa Bay


PLUS over a dozen informally organized “Small Groups”.

With the formation of associations and communities being established, a need was felt to set up an umbrella organization of all the associations. Earlier attempt in 1965 by Keki Bhote to form the Zoroastrian Association of America failed.  Forming an umbrella organization before any individual organization was formed, was like putting the cart before the horse!  In an open letter to Mr Bhote and Mr Jim Modi, the Vancouver group wrote

“How can a handful of Chicago Parsis meet one fine evening and, just like that, over a “glass of whiskey” form the Zoroastrian Association of America. Did Ahura Mazda appear to you in a dream and say “arise and lead my lost people in the New World?” [iv]

Another attempt was made, spearheaded by the Montreal group to form United Zoroastrian Associations of North America (UZANA). This was aborted as well Finally FEZANA, the Federation of  Zoroastrian Associations of North America  was born in 1987, after the Zarathushtis attending the 5th North American Congress in Los Angeles in 1985 consensually decided to form a national body. FEZANA was established at a fragile moment in our history on North American soil when there was a need to reassure people that coming together does not mean losing independence and autonomy. It is structured such that the Board of Directors is the member associations. FEZANA is an all – encompassing word which activates different images in different people. It creates an image of an organization which has tremendous power to enforce decisions. It creates an image of a competing organization which may take over the functions of local geographical organizations. And for some it creates the image of a toothless tiger which can neither roar nor bite. Depending upon the reader’s perspective all these impressions are correct. But in the 20 short year history, FEZANA has made its mark in the diaspora. 

Darbe Mehrs
The 70s were a period of growth and stability, as well as turmoil. Turmoil in different parts of the world, Idi Amin in East Africa was throwing out Indians of which Zarathushtis  formed a large percentage, the 1979 turmoil in Iran brought many Iranians Zarathushtis to North America. And there was already a steadily growing population of Zarathushtis in Canada and the United States because of liberal immigration policies. The newcomers brought with them religious fervor of all shades which they translated into building places of worship. Some allowing all to enter to pray and pay respect to Ahura Mazda and some restricting entry in the prayer room to those born of Zarathushti parents

Seven Zarathushti temples or Darb-e Mehrs which have been built on this continent, has given the community a sense of direction, responsibility and devotion towards community causes. This consolidation in North America would not have been possible without the generous munificence of Arbab Rustam Guiv and the Guiv Foundation which he had set up for the Zarathushti community.  Arbab Guiv had financial assets and was willing to spend on the community to help families resettle, establish roots and assimilate in the diaspora.

In 1977 the first temple was purchased in New Rochelle, New York, from a grant of $250,000 by Arbab Guiv, where the community bought an old building and converted it into a Darbe Mehr.

In 1978, Toronto bought a heritage mansion from a grant of $600,000 in memory of Mehraban Guiv, and a Wintario grant of $280,000. This became the Mehraban Guiv Darbe Mehr.

In 1983, the Chicago community constructed the first Darbe Mehr in North America, through local efforts and from a grant of $150,000 from Arbab Guiv and other partners from the community. Rohinton Rivetna was the architect/contractor.

In 1985, a church in Burnaby, Vancouver was purchased from a grant of $200,000 from the Guiv Trust. This became the renovated Arbab Rustom Guiv Darbe Mehr.

1986 saw the creation of the Rustam Guiv Dar-e-Mehr, Atash kadeh  in San Jose on 10-acre hilltop site with panoramic view, with a grant of $350,000 from Guiv Trust.

In 1987 from a grant of $250,000 by the Guiv Trust and the community’s contribution of  $650,000 a  property was purchased in Los Angeles, and the Zoroastrian temple built by architect/contractor Iran Mavandadi/Keki Amaria

In 1996 the Zoroastrian Heritage and Cultural Centre was built on 4.3 acres of 20 acres purchased by 41 Houston families. $400,000 was raised by the community. Architects Surti and Partners.

At the turn of the millennium, with growth in their communities, several of the Darbe Mehrs have outgrown their existing structures and expansions are being planned and executed. Chicago has built a 2,000 sq ft expansion of the main hall. Washington has been granted the approval by the zoning board for their Darbe Mehr. Houston  has built Phase II  which houses the atrium, ( where the Time Capsule was buried in 2000) the library and a youth classroom. The community in New York has sold the original property in New Rochelle and bought a larger property in Suffern, NY  The California Zoroastrian Centre has bought the adjacent property for expansion.

The community of Ontario are in the throes of raising funds for the expansion of their property and purchasing a new property to house a larger community complex. 

The community in Dallas, North Texas has bought property

Muktads :  The  Festival of all Souls (Ashtad Roz, Spendarmad Mah ( 26th day, 12th month) to the 5th Gatha day)

The custom of preserving the ritual practice and tradition of the Muktad ceremonies during the Gatha days started in 1982 in Toronto, when Ervad Boman Kotwal requested Putli Mirza to co-ordinate the “kitchen”, to look after the chasni, and food aspect of the ceremonies.  And since that time these two stalwarts of the Ontario Zarathushti community have forged ahead in maintaining the tradition for future generations.  From modest beginnings when 25 names of dear departed family members were prayed upon, today 450 names are submitted by the community. 

The community appreciates the efforts of the mobeds and community volunteers by responding with generous donations of cash, and kind by way of food, flowers, sukhad, tacho, loban, kakras. The attendance and the interest of the community have grown tremendously.

This continuity of religious tradition is an experience to cherish and preserve for both the young and old and is practiced by several of the larger associations.

Mobed Councils
Following the practice in Iran, within the last two decades, the mobeds of North America are organized into two councils

The KanKash-e Mobedan (Council of Iranian Mobeds of North America: CIMNA) and The North American Mobeds’ Council (NAMC) officially initiated in 1987.

The goal of these two councils was to develop a cadre of learned priests who would not only be well versed in performance of rituals but also in scholarship and doctrine of the religion and fulfill the ministerial need of the community.
In 1999 at the AGM of the NAMC the mobeds took the step to train the interested laity to perform Zarathushti ceremonies by initiating the Program of Mobedyars. A curriculum was designed and applications invited. Today there are five certified Mobedyars in North America.

NAMC (North American Mobed Council) at its 13th AGM in the year 2000 passed unanimously (with one Abstention) the following resolution which reads

  • Parsi is a race.

  • Zoroastrianism is a religion.

  • The term “Parsi” applies to the descendents of the original migrants who left Iran to settle in India to preserve the Zoroastrian religion.

  • A “Parsi” is a person born of both Parsi parents who has an inalienable right to practice the Zoroastrian religion.

  • A “ Zoroastrian” is a person who believes and follows the teaching of Zoroaster.

  • It is recognized that “Zoroastrianism” is a universal religion.

  • It is further recognized that a Zoroastrian is not necessarily a Parsi.[v]

CIMNA as a body has dissipated and is functionally non-existent

With the growth and maturity of FEZANA, a Strategic Plan exercise to move the community towards a Zarathushti Nation was undertaken in 1996 by Dolly Dastoor, President of FEZANA.  The community identified a collective vision of 4 “shared spaces” to be developed over a 10 year period. (1997-2007)

  1. Learning to live a Zarathushti life

  2. Thousand points of life

  3. Internal Structures

  4. External Structures.

To help our youth achieve excellence we have set up an academic scholarship program and instituted a FEZANA scholar through the Mehraban and Morvarid Kheradi endowment scholarship. Religious scholarships have also been instituted for encouraging studies in higher religious education through the Zaratoshty family scholarship. Three editions of the printed North American Directory (1996, 1998, 2001 ) and a CD (2004) have been produced.

A Mobeds’ Council to help guide the spiritual needs of the community was established.  And we initiated the establishment of the World Chamber of Commerce, the Creatingawareness network and Zarathushti Women’s International Network as well as a critical assistance network. 

Gatha conferences, Avestan conferences, the bi-annual North American conferences, sports events, film festivals, book readings of Parsi authors all take place on a regular basis. The World Congress 2000 was a singular achievement of mobilizing the diaspora to come together for a purpose.   The community has been successful in achieving this in an open and pluralistic society where so many competing demands are made not only on our time but on our psyche and our intellect.  An unique conference “Voices of the New Generation” to discuss issues facing contemporary Zoroastrians in North America was organized in 1996 in Washington

Many structures have been put in place: books on religious education have been published, The Good Life Book , (ZAGNY, 1994); A Syllabus for Religious Education (FEZANA 1997-98); The Zarathushti Religion: A Basic Text, (FEZANA 1998), The Legacy of Zarathushtra (FEZANA 2002), “Understanding and Practice of Jashan Ceremony”  by Ervad Jehan Bagli and Ervad Adi Unwalla, (2001), “Jashan and Afringan for Beginners”  Ervad Yezdi Antia (2002). “Understanding and Practice of Obsequies”

Films:  “Paradise”  by Shahriar Shahriari and Shervin Shahriari; (1997),  “In the footsteps of our fathers”  by Tenaz Dubash. (2000)

Conferences have been organized with regularity conferences for Youth and adults are organized every two to three years in different parts of the country. 

In 1975, the Zarthushtis of Toronto organized the First Conference for North American Zoroastrains. This was the first of its kind to be organized in the New World with the objective to bring members of the community together to discuss current status and future goals. Since those humble beginnings, the conferences have been held regularly every 2-3 years, by communities across N. America.  And with the establishment of FEZANA in 1987, a Congress committee was formed and mandated to find hosts for the conferences/congresses and to assist the organizers.  The Zoroastrian Youth Network of N. America (ZYNA) has also been organizing youth congresses   which have been of tremendous value in getting the Irani and Parsi youth across the continent together.  Any many a love-match has been struck culminating in matrimony!




The future of the Zoroastrian Community



Survival and Perpetuation of Zoroastrianism


New York

Aspects of Zoroastrian belief



The Zoroastrian Challenge in North America


Los Angeles

Preservation of Zoroastrian Identity through Adaptation  of Changing Environment



Prospects of Zoroastrian Renaissance in the New World



Zarthushti: My Past-Our Future



Looking ahead to the 21st century



Preservation of Zoroastrian Culture at the Turn of a Generation


Costa Mesa

The Gathic World


New York

International Conference on Yashts


San Francisco

Zoroastrian Leadership-Past, Present and Future



Gathic Vision in the Next Millennium



Zarathushti Business Conference & Expo



1st International Avesta Conference


New York

The Zoroastrian Commitment in the North American Context



2nd International Avesta Conference



7th World Congress “A Zarathushti Odyssey”



Advancing Communities, Empowering Generations


San Jose 

Being Zarathushti: Looking at Issues, Searching for Answers

Proceedings of many of the congresses have been published and available in libraries across the continent.  The Montreal Conference (1982) and the Vancouver congress (1992) were mandated with an action plan.

At the closing session of the 4th N. American  Zoroastrian Congress (1982) the ZAQ was mandated to prepare a compilation of cross-sectional views of knowledgeable people on the topic presented by Adi Davar “Non-Zoroastrians in Zoroastrian Precepts: Do they have a place? The questions raised were

  1. Should children of a marriage where either parent is a Zoroastrian be allowed to be initiated into the religion, if both the parents and child so desire.

  2. Should a non-Zoroastrian married to or wishing to marry you or your child exercise free choice to follow the doctrine of Ahura Mazda and be allowed to be initiated into the faith

Letters were sent to over 30 people including the high priests in India and North America, soliciting their opinions.  Mini-symposiums were held by ZSO, ZAMWI and ZAMC to discuss this at a community level.  Report available from the author[vi]

It is interesting to note that similar questions were raised in 1903 in India. And after 100 years the question has still not been resolved.

In December 2000, the Zoroastrian Association of Houston and FEZNA hosted the 7th World Congress and the Zoroastrian Olympics with over 2000 persons in attendance.  This was the first time such a major event was brought to North America, which reflected the maturity of the community.  It was truly a world event as every part of the world where Zarathushtis live were invited to participate in the infrastructure of the cultural events and claim a piece of the congress as their own.

And yet this was a watershed event, which polarized the community and exposed and exploded the issue of  Zarathushtis by Choice vs Zarathushtis by Birth to the forefront. Invitation to Ali Jafarey, the founder of the Zarathushtrian Assembly (1990) to participate as a speaker in the congress was the catalyst. “Actions of the California-based Zarathushtrian Assembly are extremely distressing for some, who are indoctrinated into non-acceptance of those born of non-Zarathushti parents. On the other hand, there are those who consider the message of Zarathushtra as one for all humanity, and are sympathetic to the work of the Assembly” Dr  Ervad Jehan Bagli.  The actions of the Assembly revolt those who strongly believe that the traditional ground rules of the 10th and 11th century should and must apply in the 21st century, in the highly dynamic social fabric of human rights and fundamental freedoms of caste, color or creed within the constraints of the law.[vii]

After much recriminations and ill-feelings around the world, a compromise solution prevailed. Ali Jafarey did not speak in the body of the congress but a special debate was held between Ali Jafarey and K.N. Dastur, a traditional  mobed from India.   There were over capacity crowd and strong security. The event was a huge success.



1989   Houston

Zoroastrian Crossroads: Vision and decisions of the New World

1990   Toronto

Discovery of the Past in Search of the Future

1993   Los Angeles

First Youth World Congress Unity, Preservation and prosperity of Zoroastrianism in the 21st Century

1994   Chicago

A Celebration of  Zoroastrian Education

1995   Stanford 

Bridges to the Future

1999    Montreal

Turning Belief into Action

2003   Toronto






1986   Houston

First North American Youth Camp

1986   Houston

Second North American Youth Camp

Several very successful religious youth camps were organized by Mobed Fariborz Sohrab Shahzadi  on behalf of the  Kankash E Mobedan.




1st Zoroastrian Olympics  - Los Angeles, CA

1989 2nd

Los Angeles, CA

1990 3rd

San Jose, CA

1992 4th

Long Beach, CA

1994 5th

Domingo's Hill, CA

1999 6th

Los Angeles, CA

2000 7th

Houston, TX (with World Congress)

2002 8th

Los Angeles, CA

2004 9th

Vancouver, BC

In 1990 for the first time in North America the 100th Toronto Scout Group was formed.  And the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides are now eligible to compete for the Religion in Life Emblem

A detailed syllabus on the Zoroastrian religion was drawn up and submitted to the Boy Scout Movement for approval.

Many communities across North America hold formal religious classes

From 1972-74 there was a periodical called Z.A.of Q. Newsletter.
In 1974 some interested Zarathushtis met at the house of Mr. Freddy Lakdawala in Montreal and after much discussion dreamt up the notion of initiating Gavashni
(The Expression or The Words). Initially it was edited jointly by Dr Jehan Bagli and Mr. Edul Kanga. After about three years Mr. Kanga retired his position, and it was perpetuated solely through the efforts of Dr Jehan Bagli until 1987.

In 1987 when FEZANA was born through the efforts of Mr. Rohinton Rivetna
of Chicago,  nine Committees defined by FEZANA.  Bagli was elected to chair "Information Receiving and Dissemination/ Journal" committee.
It was at that crossroad, that a choice had to be made between Gavashni, which by now had a world wide circulation among Zarathushtis, and the new periodical -FEZANA Journal - that was about to be launched.
There was little doubt in Bagli's mind, that a miniscule minority such as Zoroastrian community, needed cooperative rather than competitive efforts. Having two nationwide periodicals must necessarily lead to duplication, and can become a focus of disharmony. He took over the editorship of evolving FEZANA Journal carried it through to 1990
before it was transferred to the efficient hands of present Editor-in-chief Roshan Rivetna. Bagli then retired from the editorial duty of the publication and as chair of the committee, when Gavashni was cordially put to rest in favor of the Journal.

FEZANA JOURNAL a quarterly publication has evolved into a prestigious North American periodical.
Iran Zamin, is a bilingual publication (Farsi and English) of The Ancient Iranian Cultural & Religious Research, and development Center for Conservation of Scholarly Treatises, Vancouver, Canada. Edited by Fariborz Rahnamoon..

Humata , a Journal of The Center for Ancient Iranian Studies, Newton, Mass. is   edited by Dr Farhang Mehr and Prof Kaikhushro D. Irani.

Payke e Mehr published from Vancouver since 1987 with  Dr Mehraban Shahrvini as its editor-in-chief helps to expand the Zoroastrian and Persian Cultures. It was started to fill the need of the Iranian population abroad for a Persian magazine.


HELP LINE    The Welfare Committee of FEZANA with fund-raising through the community has established a Phone help line with a 1-800 number to help individuals and families in cases of domestic violence and abuse.

FEZANA has NGO Category III Status at the United Nations and actively participates regularly in events of the United Nations in New York and Geneva.  The community has actively participated in the World Parliament of Religions, 1993, 1999 and 2004.  The community has been visible in Interfaith events and have been on the boards of Interfaith Councils and Journals.

The year 2003 saw the celebrations across North America for the UNESCO declared 3000th anniversary of Zoroastrian Culture. 2003 was declared the “Year of the Zoroastrians” by the City of Los Angeles (through the efforts of Dolly Malwa). A Seminar was held at the Library of Congress, co-sponsored by UNESCO and  the World Zoroastrian Organization. Special event was organized at the prestigious Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. An original concert highlighting the “Cylinder of Cyrus” was presented by the Washington community at the historic Washington National Cathedral at an evening billed as “one of Washington’s most inspiring evenings”

It attracted both media and TV attention including CNN, PBS and Voice of America.

Libraries with respectable collection of books have been set up in Houston, Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles,

Evolution in Z thought and action  

With the passage of time more and more Zarathushtis in North America are evolving awareness of the Religious calendar of Fasal. Major associations that perform Fravardegan (Muktad) ritual annually perform these rituals twice a year, once during the month March that is synchronous with the Zarathushti high festivals and a second time for those who still follow the drifting computational system of Shenshai. The Khurshidi calendar followed by the Iranian Zarathushtis despite being synchronous with zarathushti festivals, is Islamic in its origin and differs from Fasli computation significantly, leading to some discrepancies. It is erroneous to label that computation as Fasli calendar. (Dr Ervad Jehan Bagli) 

Parsi –Irani Divide
Attempts have been made to bridge the gap by first establishing a FEZANA committee for “Parsi-Irani Understanding”.  But nothing which is mandated works, only efforts from the heart by individuals do.  Houshang and Fereshteh Khatibi organized a memorable Iranian night at the 7th N. American Zoroastrian Congress and they organized and celebrated Jashan-e-Sadeh for the first time in Houston which has become an annual tradition.   

New York participates in the Persian Parade at Nauroz. The Washington Interfaith Choir comprises of both Iranian and Parsi singers.  Iranian nights at the congresses and other official functions have become a tradition exposing the non-Iranian Zarathushtis to                           

the rich culture of our Iranian heritage. It is a delight to see the Parsi and Irani young and not so young sway to the haunting and rhythmic Iranian music into the wee hours of the morning at North American congresses.

The youth congresses, camps, sports have been great equalizers and has been successfully filling this divide with one fistful of “parira” mix at a time.(Parsi-Irani mix)

From the limited census data that we have of the population in North America  there are about 10,794  Zarathushtis  with an almost equal distribution of males to females, with the male population peaking in the under 18 age group. The greatest concentration of Zarathushtis is in California and Ontario with 18.2%. each,   British Columbia is second with 12.2%, and  Texas third with 11.1%. 36% of the population lives in Canada.  But what is alarming is that 10% of the population is 60 and over.

We are an aging community with 33% of Zarthushtis in India over the age of 60.  This percentage has increased from 17.9% in 1961 to 33% in 1999[ix].  In Pakistan, 36 % of the Z population is over 60 (Zarathushtrian Census of Pakistan 1995). (We have no figures for Iran).   Of course this alarming rate of growth is the trend globally, causing much concern to social and economic planners. Providing services for this fastest growing segment of the population is a real challenge. 

The problem in India is confounded by the factors of changing family structures, rapid urbanization and international migration. Added to this is the fact that 51% of the males and 37% of females are single. So where is the social safety net for this segment of the population?  Who looks after this segment of the Zarathushti  population in India.?

This touches many of us living in the Diaspora, as many have aged and older parents still living in the home countries, looked after by the goodwill of friends and distant relatives or at the mercy of temperamental paid help.  But in most cases of Zarathushtis with no children or living relative, there is no one to provide support and help. The elderly live in neglected housing conditions, with limited financial resources, poor health, poor diet, social isolation, and become vulnerable and easy targets for financial exploitation and abuse.  Some also suffer from cognitive and memory loss which go undetected and undiagnosed making the older person the butt of ridicule and jokes.[x]

A concerted plan of action was suggested by Dastoor in Hamazor Issue 4, 2004
Many of my generation on coming to North America, practiced a sort of “protectionist” “insular” philosophy, which is understandable for all first generation immigrants. Research shows that the first generation tends to keep together, live in close proximity to each other, work very hard to preserving the culture of the lands they immigrated from.  But this changes with each subsequent generation, and we are no exception. Now this second generation does not see the relevance of the need to be insular and protectionist and are proud to spread out, they have informed themselves about the Zarathushti theology and doctrine, they are ready to participate fully in the mainstream life, they are ready to create awareness about the religion, they have received nominations from both the republican and democratic parties of the United States of America, during the 2004 elections,  they participate in interfaith events. When they marry a non-Zarathushti spouse, they integrate them in the cultural and social life of the community.    

100 years since our arrival on this continent  we face new challenges, the challenge of creating a “cultural context”  for the religion which has been exported to North America by its followers from Iran and India,  the challenge of blurring boundaries of a “global village”, the challenge of “human rights” and “gender equality”, the challenge of  reconciling with a world,  where people who wish to practice the Zarathushti religion,  and people who want to keep them out, the challenge of “defining a Zarathushti”,  the challenge of finding leaders who will put petty differences behind them and lead us to form a virtual nation, “a world body”, the challenge of finding priests who would lead us to a spiritual enlightenment and revival, the challenge of setting parameters for practicing traditions and rituals, the challenge of a paradigm shift in the balance between communal authority and personal autonomy, the challenge between survival of demographic numbers or spiritual re-growth, and most important of all the challenge and courage to stand on our own, responsible for our own actions, respectful to all but beholden to none[xi].        

[i] This article was posted on www.vohuman.org on June 9, 2005
[ii]  The Zoroastrian Challenge in N. America. Proceedings of the Fourth North American Zoroastrian Congress,  Montreal, 1982
[iii]  same as i
[iv] FEZANA JOURNAL, Vol IX No 2-Summer 1996 pg 32
[v] Ervad  Dr Jehan Bagli, President, NAMC
[vi] Report Compiled by the Zoroastrian Association of Quebec: Non-Zoroastrians in Zoroastrian Precepts: Do they have a place?  September 1983
[vii] FEZANA JOURNAL Winter 2000.  Special Commemorative Issue  Bagli pgs 97-99
[viii] FEZANA  JOURNAL Winter 2004, Rivetna, pgs 53-60
[ix] Bombay Parsi Punchayat  Review, Summer 2004  pg 30.
[x]  HAMAZOR Issue 4, 2004   Dastoor  pgs 20-22
[xi]   HAMAZOR Issue 1, 2005  Dastoor