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Prior to the Arab Muslims conquesting of Persia, Zoroastrianism was the primary religion of the nation. It originated from the pre-Zoroastrian Religion of Iran, Iranic paganism. Zoroastrianism, or Mazdayasna, is one of the world’s oldest religions that still remains active. It is a monotheistic faith (i.e. believing in a single creator God), centered in a dualistic cosmology of good and evil and an eschatology predicting the ultimate destruction of evil. Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra), it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord), as its Supreme Being. Major features of Zoroastrianism, such as messianism, judgment after death, heaven and hell, and free will may have influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple, Gnosticism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.

The Iranian prophet and religious reformer Zarathustra (flourished before the 6th century BCE)—more widely known outside Iran as Zoroaster, the Greek form of his name)—is traditionally regarded as the founder of the religion.