The world's oldest monotheistic religion has taken steps to empower its youth and preserve the faith for the future.
Zoroastrians, as they wound up their 14th North American Congress in Toronto this week, emphasized mentorship and the need for unity among the scattered faithful.
"We are moving the identity issue forward," said prominent Toronto Zoroastrian Daraius Bharucha, "empowering our youth, showcasing the community, while saying, `We are a diaspora that has now arrived.'"
For the first time at a congress, youth activities, such as mentoring and entrepreneurship programs, ran alongside sessions on history, heritage and religious matters.
Bharucha represents the Zoroastrian Society of Ontario, which hosted the congress that ran from June 30 to July 2 at the Sheraton Parkway North Hotel.
More than 600 Zoroastrians from around the world attended, out of the 150,000 members of the faith worldwide. The religion was founded in 1500 BCE by the prophet Zarathustra.