The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only majority Shia Country in the world with around 98% of its population choosing Islam Shia as their religion, there are other religions followed by some small numbers of peoples such as Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians. The official state religion of Iran is Islam.
Following travel tips explains about religions in Iran
Islam religion in Iran
The only factor that makes the religious beliefs in Iran so unique and different is that although almost 90% of Iranians are Shia Muslims, the globally percentage of Shia Muslims is only 10%. The religious beliefs of Shia Muslims in Iran primarily share the core beliefs of Sunni Muslims as well. However, there are some of the key differences between the Shia and Sunnis as following:
When the Prophet Muhammad died in 632, there was no clear agreement over his successor, the majority believed in Abu Bakr whom was the prophet’s father in law and friend as well, he became Caliph, and however there were those who backed the claim of the prophet’s son in law and cousin, Ali Ibn Abi Taleb, One of the first converts to Islam, Ali was passed over a total of three times before eventually becoming the forth Caliph in 656. The Muslim community was by now divided into two factions, the Sunnis, who followed the Umayyad Caliphate, and the Shia ( meaning followers of Ali), when Ali’s second Son Hossein and his believers and supporters were martyred by the Caliph’s troops at the battle of Karbala in 680, the division become permanent.
The Shia religion in Iran upholds that the spiritual leadership passed from Ali, through to eleven of his descendants. The twelfth Imam (Imam Mahdi) is believed to have ascended into a supernatural state and that he will not return to earth until the day of judgement.
Zoroastrianism; the Pre-Islam religion in Iran
Zoroastrians, the followers of Iran’s pre-Islam religion, are based mainly around Yazd with its fire temple, where the fire is said to have been burning for 4000 years and the Chak Chak pilgrimage site in the desert mountain setting. Sizable communities also live in Tehran, with estimates as to the number of Zoroastrians in Iran vary, anywhere from 30.000 to 100.000. Zoroastrianism is the world’s first monotheistic religion and has influenced those who have followed religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Several traditions and ceremonies dating from Zoroastrian times are still celebrated and or important in Iranian modern culture, some of the such as the Iranian New Year (No Ruz) as the Iran’s main festival celebrated on the spring equinox, and is descended directly from a Zoroastrian festival, as is Chaharshanbe Soori, which takes place on the Wednesday before New Year and involves people jumping over a series of small bonfires. Shab-e Yalda, celebrated other winter solstice, is another Zoroastrian festival still observed by Iranian.
Christian religion in Iran
The Christian community in Iran consists mainly of Armenians who settled historically at jolfa, in the northern borders of Iran, and were then moved to New Jolfa in Esfahan in Safavid times. Many also live around the north western city of Orumiyeh. Christians were present in Iran before the arrival of Islam and some Christian saints were martyred in Iran. Today, Iran’s 250.000 Christians also include Roman Catholics, Adventists, Protestants and Chaldeans as well as about 20.000 Assyrians. There are churches in most large towns.0