Human Rights & Zoroastrianism

Human Rights & Zoroastrianism


”Zoroastrianism is the first religion that has taken a doctrinal and political stand on the subject of human rights and has condemned the limitation or curtailment of those rights under any pretext ” ( John R. Hinnels – The Theory and practice of human rights in Zoroastrianism.)

Although it is a modern legal coinage not used in religious literatures of the past, the concept of human rights as a system of values and ideas is ingrained in Mazdaism. In Zoroastrianism the idea of human rights stems from the principle that man is created to be a coworker with God and as such ought to try to emulate the master of the craft. Being only a good creator, God has created the universe and man as essentially good. The soul of Creation’s complaints about rape, violence and passion; King Yima’s fall from power due to his vanity and nonobservance of the law; the prophet’s insistence on freedom of choice in acceptance of a faith; Zarathushtra’s advice to his daughter to respond to the call of wisdom and love in her choice of a bridegroom; the recognition of the equality of men and women in all respects; the condemnation of autocratic and unjust rule and the recommendation to the faithful not to submit to oppressive rulers-all these demonstrate the values of human rights in Zoroastrianism. THE MAZDAEN NOTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IS THE NATURAL EXTENSION OF THE TWO DOCTRINES OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD AND THE FUNCTION OF MAN AS GOD’S CO-WORKER.

From the book ” The Zoroastrian Tradition” By DR. Farhang Mehr

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