SINGER-SONGWRITER WAS MORE RELIGIOUS THAN YOU THINK
Unless you have been living in a cave, you know the rock band, Queen. For the last forty years, their music has been played at sports stadiums, movies, radio stations, and personal music players. The new film Bohemian Rhapdosy will explore the creation of the band and the life of Freddie Mercury. The songwriter and creator of Queen led an intensely private life. He rarely spoke about his upbringing.
What few people do not know about Mercury was that he was born in East Africa and was raised in a strict Zoroastrian family. Zoroastrianism is a faith primarily practiced by Parsees whose ancestors are from ancient Persia, now known as Iran. Zoroastrian is considered by some religious experts to be the oldest monotheistic religion. Zoroastrians first conceived concepts like Heaven and Hell and an eternal struggle between good and evil. The religion is relatively small. There are less than 500,000 followers.
Freddie Mercury did not actively practice Zoroastrianism for most of his life. But he did still connect with his faith. He once remarked to an interviewer “I’ll always walk around like a Persian popinjay and no one’s gonna stop me, honey!” Zoroastrian priests did his funeral ceremonies. Some rock music historians have linked his operatic themes of Bohemian Rhapsody to the religious themes of Zoroastrianism. Freddie Mercury’s sister Kashimira told reporters that “I think what [Freddie’s] Zoroastrian faith gave him was to work hard, to persevere, and to follow your dreams.” The movie will be released on November 2, 2018.