The Devil worshippers of Iraq

Yezidism is syncretistic: it combines elements of many faiths. Like Hindus, they believe in reincarnation. Like ancient Mithraists, they sacrifice bulls. They practise baptism, like Christians. When they pray they face the sun, like Zoroastrians. They profess to revile Islam, but there are strong links with Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam.

Iraq sect fears annihilation

Angry members of a minority sect in Iraq said on Thursday they feared annihilation after scores were killed in possibly the worst suicide bomb attack of the four-year conflict.

The Yazidi: ancient sect accused of worshipping the devil

Mysterious group that have 2,500-year old traditions were the subject of devastating suicide bombings in Iraq that killed more than 200 people.

Iraq Toll Exceeds 200 as Suicide Bombers Target Sect

The death toll from coordinated suicide bombings in northern Iraq rose to more than 200, the deadliest in the country since November and the worst attack on a Kurdish sect that has been targeted in the sectarian conflict.

Iraq: Young Yazidi Girl Stoned to Death

A young girl is stoned to death at the hands of a mob. Her crime? She loved a boy of the wrong religion.

17-year-old girl stoned to death for loving boy of wrong religion

Miss Aswad, a member of a minority Kurdish religious group called Yezidi, was condemned to death as an “honour killing” by other men in her family and hardline religious leaders because of her relationship with the Sunni Muslim boy.

Forbidden love led to Yazidi massacre

The mass murder was the latest attack on religious minorities in Iraq, where human rights groups say Christians, Jews and members of other smaller sects are often killed, persecuted or forced to convert by Muslim extremists.

Gunmen execute Yazidi followers

Gunmen shot and killed 23 members of an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq yesterday after stopping their bus and separating out followers of other faiths. At least 20 people were killed in car bombings in the capital.

Iraqi Yazidi sect cancels annual pilgrimage

Iraq’s Yazidis, a minority religious sect who have been branded devil worshippers by suspicious neighbours, cancelled an annual pilgrimage yesterday over fears for devotees’ safety.

Iraqi group fears revival of ‘devil-worship’ tag

BAGHDAD, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Fresh accusations that an ancient Iraqi sect worships the devil raises concerns about the future of religious minorities in the new Islamist-dominated Iraq, a presidential adviser said on Thursday. Mirza Dinnayi, President Jalal Talabani’s adviser for Yazidi affairs, said that despite efforts to ensure that minorities are protected in a […]

In Iraq, ancient sect quietly lives on faith

Persecuted by Saddam Hussein as Kurds and “devil worshipers,” the Yezidis pray that the worst is behind them. LALISH, Iraq – As darkness falls over the remote mountains of northern Iraq, a man moves silently within ancient walls, setting flame to hundreds of wicks soaked in olive oil. In the dim light, shadows dance among […]

Hell’s Angels

Scorned as `Devil worshippers’, Iraq’s Yezidi tribe have survived centuries of abuse. But could the overthrow of Saddam Hussein provide their greatest challenge yet? Don’t even mention the word Satan,” we were warned before we went to Sinjar. “If you even say that word there, they will make serious trouble for you.” That seemed a […]

Faith that preceded Abraham goes its own way in Kurdistan

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), July 26, 2003 Herald Correspondent Ed O’Loughlin visits the heartland of the Yezidis. Allow me to introduce the Yezidis, a Kurdish tribe of little wealth and eccentric taste. Scholars believe that the Yezidis’ strange and ancient religion is one of the last surviving offshoots of a faith even older then […]

Ancient Faith Is a Reminder of Iraq’s Diversity

In the mountainous north, the Yazidi religion retains its hold. Removed from conflict, adherents believe they never had it so good. BASHIQA, Iraq — Perhaps this is one case where the devil isn’t in the details. For centuries, believers in the Yazidi religion in northern Iraq were oppressed by their Ottoman overlords and Muslim Kurdish […]
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