American Ezidi Center

The Ezidi Religion



Lalish landmark from aerial view Old photo of family getting their picture taken Black and white drawing of people gathering Art replicating people of historic times

Ezidi is one of the oldest (Indo-European) religions. The followers of the Ezidi religion believe in one God. In addition, they respect and believe in a branch of Angels led by the most powerful one called Tawus Malak.

A key belief in the Ezidi religion is that a human’s spirit is obtained from God, and it must combine with its source free from any sin. They believe when someone dies, his/her body vanishes to the underworld and his/her Holy Spirit starts once again with another living being (reincarnation), depending on person’s good or bad deeds in his life.

As Abrahams, the Indian’s old faith, Ezidis have religious and social classes and are categorized: Mir, Pir, Sheikh and Commoners. In addition, an Ezidi person cannot marry a non-Ezidi; he/she cannot get married from out of his/her class within the Ezidi classes.

Ezidis and the followers of this faith live in Kurdistan. They came to the land with the Indo-Iranian settlers, and formed Mesopotamia’s oldest culture. Their main temple, Lalish, is in southern Kurdistan. Now they comprise of about 5% of the Kurdish population. They live in small villages. They share some of these villages with Muslims and Christians.

Their original homelands are Northern Iraq, Northern Syria and southeast of Turkey.

Ezidi communities are also found in Armenia, Georgia and Yerevan. There has never been a census to establish the numbers of the community as a whole, there is no exact knowledge, but it is estimated that there are 750,000 – 1,000,000 Ezidis.

Throughout history, Ezidis became a target for many genocide attempts. In addition to the loss of their land and population, their power centers have been separated between and within Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. These factors make them an easy target for all movements that do not believe in tolerance, variety, and pluralism.

In Iraq Ezidis were victims of Saddam’s regime, once because of their religion and the other because of their nationality as Kurds. The early Arabezetion stared with evacuating Ezidis from their land and villages and replace them with Arabs in1960’s and when Saddam’s regime destroyed Kurdish villages in the Anfal campgain1988 it destroyed Ezidis villagers as well.

In Syria, Ezidis basic rights are denied. For hundreds of years they have lived in their land; however, Syrian government is not willing to give citizenship to most of them. They cannot own property. Their children are forced to study the Qur’an and learn Islam in schools. In Turkey, for more than three decades Ezidis have evacuated their villages and migrated to Europe, running away from the discrimination and the aggression of the Turkish government and province lords.

In the last decade Ezidis young educators and their intellectual generation from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey have been fleeing from the political and economic circumstances. This is considered as dangerous on their future and entity.

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Please donate and help us raise money to support the victims and families that need it most. The Ezidis are displaced and are living on the streets of Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

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