Zoroastrians have historically inhabited the territories of modern Russia and the former USSR republics. Some researchers state that the prophet Ashoo Zarathushtra himself has lived and taught in the foothills of South Ural, in Central Asia or in the Transcaucasia. So there is nothing surprising that the modern Russian Anjoman has been now created on the same territories. The Russian Anjoman includes every kind person who has accepted Good Faith in a ceremony administered by a Moobed or simply considers himself a member of the Russian Anjoman.
The first Sedreh-Pooshi, the ceremony of accepting Zoroastrian Faith, in the former USSR, took place in late 1990s in Tajikistan. Later, such ceremonies were organized in Minsk (Belarus, 2001), Moscow (Russia, 2005), Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan, 2006), and Tashkent (Uzbekistan, 2006). Each of the listed events were conducted by the Moobed Kamran Jamshidi and the Anjoman «Bozorg Bazgasht» («The Great Return»). The rituals conducted by Moobed Jamshidi are recognized by traditional Zoroastrians of Iran and by the Anjoman Moghan Iran.
Presently there are 100 Zoroastrians living on the territory of Russia and the former USSR republics. Their communities operate according to the local freedom of religion legislation. Russian Zoroastrian communities function in a form of religious groups without a legal entity according Russian laws.
Anjoman is an association of people of Good Faith. One of Zoroastrian principles is unity of the believers. Faith is not something strictly personal and individual, as usually considered in modern societies. Our tradition does not have any monasteries or hermits, nor does it have the idea of individual salvation. A Zoroastrian follows his calling together with other Zoroastrians, and can count on them during his life on Earth as well as after.
The Anjoman structure reflects the essence of our religion. Ashoo Zarathushtra teaches us that world incarnate is the result of a confrontation between the Good spirit Sepantaminoo and the evil and false spirit Ahriman (May he be defeated and destroyed!). Anjoman consists of settlement communities that unite into land communities, regional communities, and national communities.
One of the major goals of Russian Anjoman is getting the Mazda Yasna recognized by the society and the government as a traditional religion along with Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism. To reach this goal, the Russian Anjoman is realizing projects to inform people about Good Faith, to scientifically research Good Faith, and to organize cultural exchange between Anjoman members and Zoroastrians abroad. A Russian translation of Gathas, completed by Jamshid Zartoshti of Minsk, has already been published. There is also the website blagoverie.org.
At this time the Russian Anjoman is working on the following projects:
- Blagoverie.org – support and development of the web portal as the official representation of the religion as well as the means of communication between traditional Zoroastrians.
- Translation – translating and publication of Zoroastrian religious literature.
- Bibliography – completing a list of sources, a structured Good Faith bibliography, searching for and purchasing books, and their transition into electronic version.