If Zoroastrianism is so strong in Iran, why was there an Islamic revolution? Why is it proclaimed as the Islamic Republic of Iran?

  • 1
    I upvoted--a false assumption does not necessarily make a bad question. While some research may have helped clear things up, it may be that the user misunderstood something from his own research. Oct 27, 2015 at 13:52
  • 1
    @called2voyage I can delete the question if you want. It is mainly about historical inheritance of an ancient religion. Oct 27, 2015 at 13:55
  • 1
    On the contrary, I'm supporting your question. I think it is good, and that is why I upvoted. I'm defending your case to other users who might have downvoted based on your assertion that Zoroastrianism is strong in Iran. Oct 27, 2015 at 14:08
  • 1
    Please show some preliminary research. How strong is Zorastrianism in Iran? Is it strong? What do the basic sources say?
    – MCW
    Feb 21, 2016 at 20:49
  • 3
    Does this answer your question? What caused the 1979 Iranian revolution to become Islamic? Nov 12, 2020 at 1:42

3 Answers 3


There are only approximately 20,000 Zoroastrians in Iran, which is about 0.026% of the total population. I would not say Zoroastrianism is strong in Iran in terms of the total population. The only way Zoroastrianism can be said to be strong in Iran is because it has the second-largest Zoroastrian population after India (~69,000). See List of countries by Zoroastrian population.

Iran has a Muslim population of about 74,819,000 (figure from 2010), which is about 99.6% of the total population (Muslim Population by Country). Based on the overwhelming Muslim majority it is not difficult to see why it is proclaimed as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  • so what about the Persian inheritance? Is it dead and gone? Aug 18, 2012 at 14:42
  • 2
    @VitalijZadneprovskij I think you should post that as a new question.
    – Apoorv
    Aug 18, 2012 at 14:49
  • It has called Islamic Republic of Iran after 1979 revolution and it is just to define there is a political kind of Islam running government in Iran by a religious leader nothing else! Before it most Iranians were Muslims according to their ID cards and the country was called Monarchy of Iran! It is not the religion of people which defines the name of country but the kind of managing the country! You know being Muslim is not a personal choice in Islam and if you change your religion as a Muslim by birth there is a horrible destiny for you. It can be equal to death! Mar 1, 2013 at 4:13
  • 2
    This is a good answer, but it would be even better if you could include when the Zoroastrians last had a majority and what led to the decline. For example, reportedly, Zoroastrians still made up 40% of the Iranian population in the fifteenth century CE. The decline was initiated by the Arab invasion in the first half of the seventh century CE, but the decline was gradual and there were several factors involved which would make good material for a strong answer. Oct 27, 2015 at 14:04

Well, Zoroastrianism is not strong in Iran and has not been strong in Iran for the past 1300 plus years. The vast majority of Iran's population since the 700's CE, have been are are still, Shiite Muslims-(One could even say that Iran was the historical and contemporary Epicenter of Shiite Islam).

The Zoroastrian population in Iran proper is well below 1%. When Islam came to Persia/Iran 1300 plus years ago, a small percentage of Zoroastrians fled to India. The Parsi population within India are Persian/Iranian Zoroastrians.

  • What does this answer add to the accepted answer? (except for a funny misuse of the word "epicenter")
    – sds
    Oct 23, 2017 at 18:32
  • You obviously do not understand the entire meaning of the word, "epicenter". Moreover, the answer that I stated, though short in length, is still quite direct and accurate.
    – user26763
    Oct 23, 2017 at 18:36
  • first, read up on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicenter ; second, if your answer were the first one, I would have upvoted it. However, now your answer merely adds noise, repeating what has already been said before.
    – sds
    Oct 23, 2017 at 18:47
  • I stand by my answer and as I said before, "you obviously do not understand the entire meaning of the word, "epicenter".-(there are secondary, tertiary, as well as symbolic meanings).
    – user26763
    Oct 23, 2017 at 19:09

Before Islam Iranians had problem with Zoroastrianism and were to an opportunity to get rid of t but Kings of Iran were Zoroastrians and this was not easy. It is interesting to know the last Zoroastrian King of Iran was killed by Iranians and not by Muslims. When Islam started some Iranians seeking truth went to Arabia to meet Muhammad PBUH and learn about Islam. The most famous of them was Salman Farsi the great companion of prophet. Farsi is Arabic form of Persian. And his name means the Solomon of Persia. Salman had great role in introducing Islam to Persians and converting them to Muslim. It can be said approximately that Persian inheritance is it dead and gone. Persian inheritance had no chance competing against powerful Islam inheritance.

  • Islam inheritance was more powerful only in a military meaning, or also in other aspects? Aug 18, 2012 at 16:36
  • 1
    attack of Muslims to Iran was leaded b Omar who is not recognized as a legal Caliph by shia Muslims. after death of Islam some hijacked power and Ali S.A. real successor of prophet and real Caliph selected by God was not in power. attack of Umar to Iran is not an Islamic action in view of Shia Muslims. Iranians selected Islam before attack of Arabs and it is not related to any military. current Yemen was part Persia of that time and Yemen people converted Muslims before attack of Arabs by reasoning and logic. Yemen is a proof that Iranians did not accept Islam by sword. Aug 18, 2012 at 16:54

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.