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Apostasy in Middle Persian According to Dādestān ī Dēnīg
Mahmoud Jaafari-Dehaghi

Abstract
Apostasy in Zoroastrian religion is commonly defined as the rejection of religion
in word or deed by a person who has been a behdin. The evidence from Middle Perian
texts illuminate the strong challenges between Mazdean faith and other religions such
as Christianity, Manichaeism and Judaism. They also emphasize the strong punishment
called marg-arzān designated for the apostates.
This article compares the Middle Persian texts on apostasy to find out about
possible different views stated in Middle Persian Texts about this issue. According to
these texts, there were strong challenges between Mazdean faith and other religions
such as Christianity, Manichaeism and Judaism. It is also concluded that whereas capital
punishment for apostasy could have been enforced during Sasanian times, it was not
practiced when forcible conversion to Islam was commonplace.
Keywords
Mazdean, apostasy, marg-arzān, Middle Persian

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