Tag: Yazidi

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 new constitution being drafted in Baghdad, whisperings about the nature of the Yazidi faith had raised fears of violence against the community. “As a liberal I find the future of Iraq miserable and for minorities like the Yazidis it will be even more difficult,” said

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 the tombs, the urns, the black snake carved into the stones. This is the sacred temple of the Yezidis, often – though wrongly – known as “devil worshipers.” As followers of one of the world’s oldest and most unusual religions, Yezidis practice a faith that

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 little strange, as the people we were going to visit are a religious community persecuted across the Middle East as Devil-worshippers. It does not take long to find unusual-looking people in Sinjar, a pleasant town of old stone buildings under a barren mountain ridge. There

Faith that preceded Abraham goes its own way in Kurdistan

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), July 26, 2003 http://www.smh.com.au/ 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 Judaism or Zoroastrianism, which it heavily influenced. Known as “the cult of the angels”, this early Indo-European faith held that there was only one God but that he created seven angels to serve him. Chief among these, for Yezidis, is the angel who disobeyed his

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 neighbors and labeled a sect of devil worshipers. When not the victims of massacres, they were snickered at for what was seen as their strangely eclectic list of taboos — among them, eating lettuce, wearing the color blue and uttering words that begin with the