On Monday 1st April 2014 the Zoroastrian All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) hosted a celebration of Jamsheedi Nowruz – Zoroastrian Iranian Spring New Year in the Houses of Parliament. The event was the second official event to be held by the Zoroastrian All Party Parliamentary Group, which was formed last October by Lord Bilimoria and Gareth Thomas MP to celebrate the work and history of the Zoroastrian community within the United Kingdom and abroad. Almost half of the audience present were representatives from interfaith communities in the United Kingdom.
Lord Bilimoria was a keynote speaker at the School of Oriental and African Studies on the 12th October, 2013, where he presented a speech at the School of Oriental and African Studies entitled The Everlasting Flame of Zoroastrian Identity: An Unbroken Thread of Achievement from Cyrus the Great to Today as part of the “Looking Back: Zoroastrian Identity Formation Through Recourse to the Past” conference, held to mark the launch of a ground-breaking exhibition in the Brunei Gallery at SOAS.
It is a privilege to speak here today at SOAS at the conference, “Looking Back: Zoroastrian Identity Formation Through Recourse to the Past” and also on the occasion of the launch of the outstanding “The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination” exhibition and catalogue, led by Dr Sarah Stewart of SOAS. I congratulate Dr Stewart and her editorial team, Pheroza Godrej, Ursula Sims-Williams, Firoza Mistree and Professor Almut Hintze, who I have always respected as one of the world’s leading living Zoroastrian scholars.
Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, CBL, DL and Gareth Thomas MP are pleased to announce the establishment of the Zoroastrian All Party Parliamentary Group.
The event, hosted in the Members’ Dining Room of the House of Commons on Monday 14th October with the assistance of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE), was attended by over a hundred MPs, Peers and members of the international Zoroastrian community, including the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Dr Virander Paul, the Acting High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom.