Maneck Bhujwala: Zoroastrian religion was represented at the interfaith Thanksgiving service organized by the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council. The event was held at the LDS(Mormon) church in the city of Huntington Beach in the United States on November 23, 2008.
Representatives of several Christian denominations, Hindu, Bahai, Muslim denominations, Jewish and Zarthushti faiths entered the hall in a procession and took their seats on the stage. Maneck Bhujwala, a Zarthushti Mobed and a member of Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, represented the Mazdayasni Zarthushti religion.
The president of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, welcomed everyone, recited an opening prayer and introduced the speakers. Representatives from each of the faith groups expressed what Thanksgiving meant to them and recited some passages from their scriptures.
The Zoroastrian representative, Mobed Bujwala, gave a brief historical sketch of the Zoroastrian religion and community, including the Persian empires where the majority religion was the Mazdayasni Zarthushti religion, the mention of Cyrus the Great in the Bible (Old Testament) as a saviour of the Jews whom he liberated from slavery. He then briefly described Zoroastrian’s main beliefs for the benefit of those who were not familiar with our faith. In another part his speech, he explained how Zoroastrians appreciate God and His great creations that carry out their selfless service for the preservation of life on earth, he recited lines of praise for Ahuramazda, Fire, Water, etc. from our Avesta scriptures followed by their English meanings.
The program included musical interludes, songs, chorus, etc. in between the talks and prayers. One item consisted of middle school children from different religions asking and answering short questions about each other.
After the formal program the speakers and the audience members socialized over some snacks.