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Zoroastrians In India Send Second Relief Shipment To Iran

Zoroastrian Parsis from India brought medical supplies for Iran to fight coronavirus. A leader of Iran's Zoroastrian community, Sepanta Niknam (L) March 25, 2020

The New Delhi Parsi Association has sent its second relief cargo, including medicine and medical equipment, to coronavirus-hit Iran, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)-linked Fars news agency reported.

Followers of the Iranian monotheist prophet, Zoroaster, or Zarathustra, (c. 1500 BC – 1000 BC) in India are called Parsis, or Parsees. The Parsis moved from Iran to India during the 7th century AD to flee persecution from Muslim Arabs who had conquered the Persian Empire.

As a dwindling community that struggles to survive, they live chiefly in Mumbai, but also in Karachi (Pakistan) and Bengaluru (Karnataka, India). The number of Parsis in New Delhi, today, 700.

In the official census of 2001, the Parsis numbered 69,601, representing about 0.006% of the total population of India.

Parsis are renowned for being the most successful religious minority in the whole subcontinent.

In Iran itself, Zoroastrians are the oldest religious community. Before the Muslim conquest of Persia, Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion in the Persian Empire.

According to the Islamic Republic's official census, there were 25,271 Zoroastrians in the country as of 2011.

According to Fars News Agency (FNA), the second cargo sent by the New Delhi Parsis was carried to Iran by the IRGC-controlled Mahan Airlines on Wednesday, March 25. In the meantime, 137 citizens of Iran returned from India on the same Mahan Airline flight.

In an emergency flight, Mahan Airline plane left India at a time that all local and international flights were suspended.

Based on the FNA report, the consignment sent by the Parsis consisted of products urgently needed by the Iranian health sector to fight the novel coronavirus and its related disease, Covid-19.

Based on the latest data, there are 1,200 Indians living in Iran who are mainly pilgrims and students. Three hundred eighty-nine citizens of India have so far returned to their homeland.