Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Yezidi Religion In Iraq

ORIGINAL POST - Mar 9, 2005
Many people never heard of the Yezidis. Since I'm originally from Iraq, I thought I'd introduce readers to this peaceful community in Northern Iraq.

American Aid for Children of Nineveh, Iraq writes:

The Yazidi faith goes back to the ancient Sumerian period (2500 BC) in Mesopotamia, what is currently the country of Iraq. Yazidism is a religion that believes in God and angels. The Yazidi respect people of other religious beliefs. The religion is non-missionary. Yazidi do not accept converts nor do they intermarry outside the religion. Their beliefs are based, in part on Paganism, Zoroastrianism –the earliest known religion, Christianity and Islam. Three principals govern Yazidi actions; good words, good intentions, and good deeds. Yazidi respect the elements that make up nature: air, water, fire and dust. Yazidi have values, beliefs, customs and traditions that have been held since ancient times.


Read the whole thing for more details.

UPDATE I - May 20, 2006
Last December, Egypt Today published an excellent article about Yezidis in Iraq. Here's what I learned from reading the article:

The Yezidi story of creation begins much the same as that taught to any Muslim, Christian or Jewish child. God created the angels from light (or fire). Later, He created the earth and then made Adam, the first man, from mud (or clay). The angels were told to serve as intermediaries, but one rebelled. This is where the stories diverge. For the followers of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths, God then banished the now ‘fallen angel’ from heaven. We call him Satan, Shaitan, Lucifer or, more commonly, the Devil.

In the Yezidi faith, God asked the angel why he disobeyed. The angel replied that he could not bow before anyone but God himself. God was pleased and made him the chief of all angels. They call him Azaziel or Al-Malek Al-Tawwus — the Peacock Angel.

This fundamental difference has led them to be mislabeled as devil worshippers by their neighbors, but in point of fact there is no such thing as a devil in the Yezidi faith, let alone Heaven or Hell.


I covered this subject again because even as an Iraqi, I had my misconceptions about the Yezidi religion. Still, Iraqis respected them as much as they respected the Christian minority in Iraq. I hope that hasn't changed lately.


Blogger Liam said...

That's fascinating, I had no idea. Once again I am astonished by the richness of religion in Iraq.

I finally blogged about my girlfriend's fish recipe (as well as others), Fay. You should drop by and take a look.

5/22/2006 02:34:00 PM  

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