On 15th August, 2019, a local organization in Kurdistan, dedicated to the Zoroastrian religion and philosophy, held a special ceremony at a fire temple located in the region. Members of the Basna Organization, whose efforts usually focus on preserving local archaeological sites, performed the rite in Sulaimani province’s town of Darbandikhan. During the event, participants observed a number of holy rituals and prayed aloud to the attendees. Organizers also offered a special award to the mayor of Darbandikhan for his efforts in protecting such ancient sites as the temple during his tenure.
The Kurdistan Region is home to at least nine different religious groups including Muslims, Christians, Jews, Yezidis (Ezidis), Zoroastrians, Kakais (Yarsan), Baha’is, and Sabian Mandaeans, which live in diverse communities in social harmony. In 2015, Zoroastrianism gained official recognition as a protected faith in the Kurdistan Region and the group has a representative in the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs.