Sects: India's Prosperous Parsis

In the West, Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, is a name meaningful chiefly to crossword-puzzle addicts and readers of Nietzsche. To the 100,000 Parsis of India who last week celebrated their New Year, the most sacred feast on their calendar, Zoroaster is still the one great prophet, the man who gave them their monotheistic faith in the god Ahura Mazda.

The last adherents of a great religion that once enlisted millions of ad herents throughout central Asia,&* the Parsis have traditionally influenced In dia well out of proportion to their numbers. Prosperous, cosmopolitan, literate,...

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