Who are Zoroastrians-by-choice/Neo-Zoroastrians & Zoroastrians?
The Project uses the term ‘Zoroastrians-by-choice’ for academic purposes to refer to those Zoroastrians who were born into a family where both the parents — mother and father — were non-Zoroastrians. In other words, they have accepted the Zoroastrian identity by choice. Those who were born into a family where at least one parent — mother or father — is a Zoroastrian by birth are referred to as ‘Zoroastrians’.
The term(s) Zoroastrians-by-choice / New-Zoroastrian / Neo-Zoroastrians are solely used for academic classification and to minimise miscommunication while collecting research data, without any prejudice towards individuals, groups, and the Zoroastrian community.
What is the Neo Zoroastrian Project (NZP)?
The Neo Zoroastrian Project— NZP — is an academic undertaking by a doctoral student, based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
NZP's concept was conceived back in 2015, when the student had travelled to Europe out of curiosity and stayed with a group of ‘New-Zoroastrians’ and interviewed them for an article. NZP aims to undertake an ethnographic study of Neo-Zoroastrian settlements globally and analyse their interaction with Zoroastrians – those born to Zoroastrian parent/s. The project will generate data on the demographic composition, socio-religious and cultural practices, migratory patterns, and organisational structures of Zoroastrians-by-choice.
Your participation in the Neo Zoroastrian Project will benefit the ethnographic study of contemporary Zoroastrianism. It will help estimate the global demographics and understand the socio-cultural and religious practices and lived experiences of Zoroastrians who have accepted the Zoroastrian identity and study the interaction between Zoroastrians and Zoroastrians-by-choice. The findings will contribute to our understanding of the phenomenon affecting the Zoroastrian community globally.