Yezidies (Ezdi as they call them themselves) are an Iranian-speaking nation belonging to a specific religion, which is called Sharfadin or as it is usually referred to Yezidianity. This religion believes in a sole god. The origin country of Yezidies is believed to be the Mesopotamia. Yezidies are one of the few nations from that area who have managed to preserve their culture and religion for centuries. Nowadays there isn’t much information about Yezidies. Leading a secluded life, they haven’t told much to the researchers about themselves. There has been no preciseinformation about the number of Yezidies in the world and there is no such information even today. But according to some sources their number is about 3.5 million. Yezidies mainly live in following areas:
- Sinjarie (Shingal district) and Sheikhanie districts in northern Iraq and in the valley of Ninve. Before being subjected to genocide by ISIS on August 3, 2014, about 2 million Yezidies lived here. After the genocide about 450 thousand Yezidies emigrated.
- About 211 thousand Yezidies live in European countries, especially in Germany and France. Yezidies in these countries have mainly immigrated from post-soviet countires.
- About 100 thousand Yezidies live in Russia. Those who live here have mainly immigrated from Armenia and are mostly entrepreneurs.
- About 50 thousand Yezidies live in Syria. They have immigrated from northern Iraq because of the pressure of Kurds.
- In the USA there live about 11 thousand Yezidies immigrated from post-soviet
- In Armenia there live about 60 thousand Yezidies according to nonofficial sources and 35 thousand, according to official ones. They are mainly engaged in agriculture.
There is no precise information about the number of Yezidiesliving in Turkey and other countries, but great Armenian writer and pedagogue Khacahtrur Abovyan in his book “The Yezidies” writes that there are about 200 thousand Yezidy families in Turkey.
Taking into consideration the fact that Yezidies lived in patriarchal families, we can say that in 1840 there lived about 1 million Yezidies in the area of Turkey. Although it should also be mentioned that Abovyan hadn’t counted the families living near the city Masoul, Iraq.
Because of their religion and the fact that they have mainly lived in Islamic countries, the Yezidies have suffered a lot from them, as according to Islam, they are considered to be “Kavours”, non-believers. They have even been called Satanists because of one of their prayers (Ghavler). When the God (Khoade) created the man in the heaven he ordered all the angels to bow to him. Everyone listened to him, except one-MalakeTavous. When God asked why isn’t he bowing the angel answered that God has made them from his own light and ordered them to bow only to him. In his report to the Russian Empire KhachatourAbovyan writes this to about Yezidies devotion to their religion: “Yezidies had a worse fate as they were obliged to relinquish their religion. They were bravely fighting for all people, for their own sake. Many soldiers died in fight for the religion of their fathers. The others were made to accept Islam.”
Those who had changed their religion merged with the Kurds. This is why some say that Kurds and Yezidies are the same nation. They say that the Kurds are Yezidies who had changed their religion. But not all Kurds have once been Yezidies. There are Armenians, Greeks and other nations who had to change their religion in save their lives.
The Yezidies have Aryan origin, and is one of the oldest nations in the world, Malake Tavus’s people whose religion is Sharfadinn. The Yezidis are a separate ethnic unit, and don’t have any connection with another nation, and the language belongs to the Indo-European family of languages of the Iranian family/ezdiki/. But Yezdies use Adabieren, but Adabieren is used for reading religious prayers. “Adabi” is one of the names of the Yezidie people. The origin of the name Yezidi comes from Yezidis ancestor -Red Sultan Yezids. From religion point of view he is God’s representative on earth, and God’s every order reached Yezidie people through him. Later, when Sultan Yezid at the Khelbara field disappeared after Huseyn had killed, Malake Tavus’s people began to name themselves Ezidi sign in Sultan Yezdid’s homage. It should also be noted that Sultan Yezdie in Sharfadin religion is one of the bearers of the Holy Trinity, God’s representative on earth, and now he’s sitting next to God. The Yezidis are one of those few nations that have the caste divide. The Yezidis are divided into 3 castes- they are: 1 Sheikhs – highly spiritual lesson, 2 Pir’s- spiritual lesson and 3 the Mrids – Secular lesson.
Translated by Aida Grigoryan , Mijerita Khachatryan and Anna Arzumanyan