Yazidi in Armenia

Photo Source:  manothegreek 
Map Source:  People Group location: SIL / WLMS. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Yazidi
Country: Armenia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 33,000
World Population: 782,200
Primary Language: Kurdish, Northern
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Kurd
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Yazidi are a Kurdish people who follow an old religion related to Zoroastrianism, but which has remnants of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
They are located primarily in the Nineveh province of northern Iraq. The sacred valley of Lalish is the center point of their culture. Though some live in Syria, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia, many have emigrated to parts of Europe. Almost all the Yazidis in Turkey have emigrated to Germany. The Armenian and Georgian populations largely relocated to Russia, though some remain in Armenia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They are mostly monogamous, though chiefs may take more than one wife. They are a closed community which avoids prolonged contact with non-Yazidis and accepts no converts.
Despite their small population in Armenia, the Yazidis have their largest temple there.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Yazidis believe God created the world and then created 7 archangels to rule it. One of them, the Peacock Angel, passed a test by God in which he would not bow down and worship Adam. As a result, he was made the "god of this world." This story is similar in Islam regarding Satan. However, the Muslim belief is that Satan was punished for not bowing down. The Peacock Angel is "Melek Taus" or "Shaytan". The latter is the name in the Koran for Satan. Yazidis are forbidden to speak the name "Shaytan."
Their world view revolves around angels. Besides praying toward the sun, they will fast for certain angels who control the affairs of this world. They aren't supposed to wear blue or eat lettuce. Their holy day is Wednesday, and they aren't supposed to take showers on that day. They celebrate New Year's Day as the first Wednesday in the month of Nisan. This is the day they believe the Peacock Angel comes to the Earth as God's representative.
During their pilgrimage to the valley shrine at Lalish, 55 km east of Duhok in northern Iraq, they will kiss the sacred stone black snake and enter the temple. There they baptize their children, tie colorful cloth to the tomb of the 12th century Sufi mystic who reformed the Yazidi religion, hug pillars, light fires and perform other rituals. If possible, they will carry dirt from Lalish with them and conceal it behind a veil in their home.
Yazidis believe they are descendants of Adam, but not of Eve. Instead, they have descended separate from others through Adam's other wife, Jar or Jer.

What Are Their Needs?

Yazidi people in Armenia need the Holy Spirit to move in their community, drawing them to the only one who offers life’s answers. As it stands, they are desperately trying to cling to the ways of the past.

Prayer Points

For the light of Christ to shine upon the Yazidi community in Armenia.
Pray for Armenian Christians to reach out to the Yazidis in love.
For believers among them to be accepted as Yazidis who believe in Jesus and not rejected as cultural traitors.
Pray for Yazidi disciples to make more disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project