London, Aug 22: After the intelligence agencies' plan to formulate a 'Terrorist Facebook' to keep track of the terrorists and predict attacks, the popular social networking site has now raised hopes of helping revive a religion: Zoroastrianism.
The 3,500-year-old religion, which is on the brink of extinction, is possibly the world's wealthiest and most influential faith. However, it is losing its Midas touch, reports The Times.
Bachelors belonging to the religion, whose fire-worshipping followers subscribe to the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster, tend to marry late, and, as far as women are concerned some of them wed outside the community. As a result they're excommunicated.
Because of this, there are only 120,000 Zoroastrians left, a third of whom are over 60.
Also, the diminishing birth rate has raised fears that adherents - known as Parsees in India, the religion's main stronghold - are dying out.
Now, the community is counting on a website designed to create a database of its young that will encourage them to intermarry.
It is being billed as a kind of 'Facebook for Parsees' that will place a heavy emphasis on matrimonial matters.
Tashan Mistree, 26, one of the Parsees behind the project, said, "The matrimonial part is important if we want to preserve our ethnicity ... That we are a small community means that every individual matters."
The site, which will be open to Parsees between 15 and 40, will foster a sense of ethnic identity among members with information about community events and will include a careers portal.
"It's crazy, but for years this religion had not cared for the views of anybody under 75," said Jimmy Mistry, a prominent Parsee in Mumbai.
"The young had been driven away," Mistry added.
The social network is being developed by the youth wing of the Bombay Parsee Panchayat (BPP), a Mumbai-based governing council that is one of Zoroastrianism's most influential seats of power.