Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Zoroastrians Can Travel To India On Birthright-Inspired Trip

Young Zoroastrians now also have a chance to connect with their heritage with a Birthright-inspired trip.

Return to Roots is an organization that caters to the once-thriving religious minority, offering a 15-day trip through western India to discover and connect with their heritage, Religion News Service reported.

There have been five trips so far, which brought 81 participants from at least eight countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. Return to Roots is for 22 to 35 years olds. The program is run on private donations, and the cost for each participant is $1,000 plus airfare.

That makes it different than Birthright Israel, the inspiration behind Return to Roots. Birthright is partly funded by the government of Israel, and is completely free.

Zoroastrianism is one of the worlds oldest monotheistic religions, founded about 3,500 years ago, according to the BBC. For about 1,000 years, it was the official religion of Persia, now Iran.

Zoroastrians fled religious persecution in Persia, traveling by boat to India’s west coast between the 8th and 10th centuries, according to RNS.

Today, it’s one of the world’s smallest religions, and numbers continue to fall in India — according to RNS, there were 100,772 in 1961, and in 2011, there were just 57,264. There may only be about 40,000 Zoroastrians living outside India.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.