© Michela Benaglia – Emanuela Colombo
Yazidism is one of the oldest religions in the world.
It is the only one that foresees neither proselytism nor the possibility of joining the faith except by bloodlines.
The Yazidis have faced endless persecutions and repeated massacres over the years.
The most recent is the genocide which took place in 2014, completed by Isis in the sacred region of Sinjar in Iraq, where more than 5000 people were slaughtered.
Only in 2016 the massacre was recognized as genocide by the international community for the defence of Human rights.
The Yazidis arrived in Armenia following the genocide of 1915 and constituted the largest ethnic minority in the country. Armenia is the only state in the world that has officially recognized the Yazidis to be an ethnic-religious minority therefore protecting their traditions: the Yazidis culture and religion are taught in schools and the Constitution guarantees the Yazidis five places in the Government.
Yazidism was already practised by the Sumerians and the Mesopotamians around 4000 BC. This religion includes elements of Zoroastrianism, Sufism, Christianity and even Islamism. Today in the world it is practised by about half a million people, but all the Yazidis come from Lalish, in the region of Sinjar, between Iraq and Syria. It is in Lalish that, according to the Yazidis, the Sacred Ark is moored after bringing men and animals to safety from the Great Flood, and this is where everything started from scratch.
The Yazidis believe in one only God who has created seven Angels to whom he has given the task of shaping the world and all that it contains. The most powerful angel is Malaki Taus: it is represented in the form of peacock and it created the Sun and human beings. Malaki Taus is invoked every morning by all the Yazidis, who turn to the Sun, thank for the New day and touch their face twice with their hands.
Belonging to castes is hereditary, as it is for religion. Until recently females were not entitled to education and they had to marry very young. Today things are changing but rarely women go out of the house by themselves and interact with strangers. Marriages are also allowed with more women in case there are reproductive or disability problems (this is a widespread problem since marriages are allowed only within the same caste and the genes do not mix).