The North American Mobed Council (NAMC), a non-profit religious organization, was established in 1992 to advance Zoroastrian teachings and values in North America. NAMC membership includes Mobeds/Priests that have been ordained in India and Iran.
NAMC is an autonomous organization that advises Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) as well as local Zoroastrian associations on aspects of religion and history. NAMC provides guidelines on issues facing Mobeds/Zoroastrians in North America. These guidelines are not binding on any member of the NAMC or the community.
HISTORY OF THE NORTH AMERICAN MOBEDS COUNCIL (NAMC)
The North American Mobeds Council was incorporated as a religious organization, under the laws of the Province of Ontario, Canada on September 24th 1992 and was granted a tax exempt status by the Government of Canada, in 1993.
The NAMC was officially formed on April 14, 1990, when a group of Mobeds, from all over North America, gathered in New York, to approve the constitution and the by-laws governing the Council, that were discussed and drafted a year earlier, in Montreal.
Following Mobeds were unanimously elected to the first Executive Committee:
Ervad Kobad Zarolia – Ontario (President & Founder)
Ervad Jal Birdy – California (Vice-President)
Ervad Jal Panthaky – Ontario (Secretary)
Ervad Nozer Kotwal – Ontario (Treasurer)
Ervad Cawas Desai – Pennsylvania (Executive Officer)
The main objective of the Council was to direct, guide and assist the Zoroastrian Communities in North America in the perpetuation of the Zoroastrian religion in US & Canada. NAMC enjoys a cordial relationship with the Council of Iranian Mobeds in North America (CIMNA), keeping each other aware of their activities. Since 1988, the Mobeds have met at least once a year, in different cities.
One of the most important resolutions passed by the Council at its 13th AGM in 2000 was to define a “Zoroastrian” as well as to distinguish between the terms ”Parsi” and “Zoroastrian”.
– Parsi is a race.
– Zoroastrianism is a religion.
– The term “Parsi” applies to the descendants of the original migrants who left Iran to settle in India to preserve the Zoroastrian religion.
– A “Parsi” is a person born of both Parsi parents who has an inalienable right to practice the Zoroastrian religion.
– A “Zoroastrian” is a person who believes and follows the teaching of Zoroaster.
– It is recognized that “Zoroastrianism” is a universal religion.
– It is further recognized that a Zoroastrian is not necessarily a Parsi.
The annual meetings have been very fruitful, as mobeds with different backgrounds (including conservative and liberal) have discussed and shared their knowledge of religion, culture and history.
BANAME KHODA BANAME YAZAD!
We the Mobeds of North America, recognizing that whereas we have performed our services guided by the blessings of AHURA MAZDA and the teachings of prophet ZARATHUSHTRA, hereby create the North American Mobed Council (NAMC). The NAMC has the sole purpose of pursuing and promoting the objectives stated hereunder. The conduct of the Council’s activities will be in spirit of mutual respect, co-operation and unity among its member.
ARTICLE I – NAME:
This organization shall be known as “THE NORTH AMERICAN MOBEDS COUNCIL”.
ARTICLE II – DEFINITION:
In this Constitution
1. NAMC shall refer to the North American Mobeds Council.
2. Council shall refer to the North American Mobeds Council.
3. Mobed shall refer to a priest duly ordained through traditional Zoroastrian ceremonies and rituals of NAVAR.
4. FEZANA shall refer to the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America.
5. CIMNA shall refer to the Council of Iranian Mobeds of North America.
6. EXECUTIVES shall refer to a committee of five elected officers entrusted with the management of the NAMC.
7. GOVERNMENT OF CANADA shall refer both and equally to either the Government of Canada and/or Government of Ontario.
ARTICLE III – OBJECTIVES:
The primary objective of NAMC is to serve the spiritual and religious needs of the Zoroastrians of North America by:
a) Disseminating the teachings of Zarathushtra amongst the Zoroastrians of North America,
b) Deliberating on religious matters and recommending policies approved by the majority of its members,
c) Channeling the efforts of the Council towards self-education of its members,
d) Expanding and improving the understanding of the knowledge of the theology, history, doctrines, and ritual of the religion,
e) Officiating at religious ceremonies,
f) Training young Zoroastrians to successfully become Mobeds,
g) Helping newly ordained Mobeds to co-officiate at religious ceremonies,
h) Establishing minimum mandatory prayers to be recited in exact sequence when officiating at jashan, navjote, wedding and funeral,
i) Maintaining an up-to-date list of all Mobeds in North America and identifying those who are willing to officiate at various ceremonies,
j) Assisting local North American Zoroastrian organizations to maintain a census of birth, death, navjotes, and weddings,
k) Helping to organize and where possible conduct religious education classes for both children and adults,
l) Compiling, printing, publishing of prayers and/or ceremonies accompanied by a brief interpretation thereof,
m) Monitoring and censuring any change to original Zoroastrian prayers and rituals.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP:
The membership of the Council shall be open to all Mobeds of North America.
ARTICLE V – OGANIZATION:
The NAMC is an autonomous registered non-profit corporation without share capital established under applicable Canadian Laws. No effort shall be spared to secure a TAX-EXEMPT status from revenue Canada emphasizing its primary objective being the promotion and preservation of the Zoroastrian religion.
ARTICLE VI – EXECUTIVES:
The affairs of the Council shall be jointly and severally administered by an Executive composed of at least five officers who shall be:
a) The President
b) The Vice-President
c) The secretary
d) The Treasurer
e) The Executive Officer.
ARTICLE VII – COUNCIL’S POLICY:
Council’s policy means a stand taken by the Council after listening and considering all shades of opinion and thereafter voted by the majority of its members that the course chosen is in the best interest of the council to adopt and implement.
ARTICLE VIII – POWERS:
The Council through its Executives shall have the power to purchase, lease, borrow, or otherwise acquire, alienate, sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of securities, lands, buildings and other property moveable or immoveable, or any right or interest therein owned by the Council in excess of five thousand dollars ($5000.00) provided the executive committee obtains the consent in accordance with article X below, such consent to be obtained at a meeting duly convened for that purpose.
ARTICLE IX – REPRESENTATION:
Any member wishing to represent the Council to the third party either through verbal or written presentation can do so only after consulting the executive in which event the executive may elect to review the written material and/or verbal presentation before granting permission.
ARTICLE X – EXTRA –ORDINARY MATTER:
Matters related to:
a) Council’s policy,
b) Amendment of this Constitution,
c) Receiving, owning, disposing, transferring, transforming of Council’s assets,
d) Dissolution of the Council.
Shall all be considered as extra-Ordinary matters whose resolution not only requires the summoning of a special (Extra Ordinary) general meeting where at resolutions related such matters further requires the approval of 75% of the members eligible to vote and either present or else represented by proxies.
ARTICLE XI – LIAISON:
Notwithstanding anything contained to the contrary, Council shall make every effort to forge either formal or informal working relations with other organizations or bodies whose main objective is the preservation and perpetuation of the Zoroastrian Faith provided that such relations essentially respect equality, autonomy and respective collective views of both parties.
ARTICLE XII – QUORUM:
No general body meeting or business can be started, conducted or voted unless there is a quorum of at least eleven (11) members actually present. This article does not apply to executive meetings.