Coexistence in Harmony – Liberation of the Jews 
In 588 BCE the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem and captured the Jews. These Jews continued to live in Babylonian captivity for about 70 long years until the Persian king Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon and liberated the Jews.
They were permitted to return to their home land and all the gold and silver vessels of their sanctuary were restored to them as recorded in the book of Ezra. Additionally, funds were provided from the royal coffers to enable the Jews to construct their temple of worship.
However, a certain proportion of the Jewish community also stayed back at Babylon and continued to prosper under the Persians who had made their stay very comfortable, not only giving them the freedom of worship but also self-government.
This noble act of King Cyrus was jubilantly praised by the Jews and his name is also mentioned in the Bible (Old Testament) as the Shepherd of Lord.
After Cyrus conquered Babylon, Judaism and Zoroastrianism came in close contact and the Jews learnt much about the Persian beliefs.


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