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    Ancient extinct Indo-Iranian religion centered around the worship of the Sun God, Mithras (pictured at right) who was also known as Mitra, Dharmaraha, Surya, or Yama in India, and Mihir or Mihr in ancient Persia
    Popular in and throughout classical Greece and the Roman Empire
    Believed to have been exterminated by or at least successfully suppressed by the Roman Emperor Theodosius
    Mithra was known variously as a Sun god, fertility god, and god of corn and protector of soldiers and merchants
    Mithra never existed and the Sun is not a god. It's a big ball of burning gas.
    Some anti-Christians and/or anti-Catholics claim that mainstream Christianity or at least Catholicism is a continuation of Mithraism or is at least heavily influenced by it.
    In the Roman form of worship, Mithraism followers were all male and mostly soldiers which, considering the brutality of the Roman Empire and the place of men and women in it, is not an endorsement.
    Mithra killed the first ox, Geusha Urvan ,who then went to Heaven and became the protector of all animals and is usually artistically portrayed in the act of killing Geusha Urvan.
    Worship services were usually held in caves.
    Much of its liturgy and theology was kept secret and disappeared with its extinction.
    Its followers emphasized strong ethical virtues and Mithra was known as 'The protector of truth and the enemy of lies.'
    Mithra loved dogs.
    He had a lots of friends among other gods.
    In addition to his own religion, Mithra was a major figure in Zoroastrianism.
    There are some genuine pararells between Christianity and Mithraism including; Mithra and Jesus Christ both having December 25th as their assigned birthdays, and shepherds and Magi attending their birth.
    None of their followers ever stoned prostitutes, flew airplanes into the sides of buildings, wore polyester and pompadours on late night TV, or woke anyone up on Saturday mornings trying to get them to read their literature.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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