Yazidi in United States

Photo Source:  manothegreek 
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People Name: Yazidi
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 4,100
World Population: 782,100
Primary Language: Kurdish, Northern
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 2.40 %
Evangelicals: 1.50 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Kurd
Affinity Bloc: Persian-Median
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Yazidi or Yezidi are a Kurdish people whose homeland is northern Iraq. They practice their own brand of monotheism dating from the 12th century. Some experts see similarities between the Yazidi religion and Zoroastrianism. The Yazidi have been severely persecuted by Muslims who often see them as "devil worshippers." A complete Bible became available in the language of the Yazidi, Northern Kurdish, in 2008.

Where Are they Located?

Due to persecution many Yazidi have left Iraq and live in at least nine other countries including the United States.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The tradition occupation of the Yazidi in their homeland was agriculture, animal husbandry and shop keeping. After fleeing Iraq, the Yazidi in western nations have to take lower level jobs as they learn English and obtain new job skills. These include cleaning homes, working as domestics and as retail clerks. The Yazidi have high hopes for their children who get university degrees. The Yazidi are a "closed community" which attempts to avoid prolonged contact with non-Yazidis, accepts no converts and will often try to kill a daughter or son who marries outside the religion. The Yazidi in the USA must learn that "honor killings" are not acceptable in western society and will result in serious legal consequences.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Yazidis believe God created the world and then created seven 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, which probably leads Muslims to think that Yazidis worship 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 the color 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. They believe that Jesus Christ is a light of God but are more focused on angels and pleasing them.

What Are Their Needs?

The Yazidi in the USA must learn English and new job skills. Believers can help the Yazidi will their physical needs and then tell the Yazidi about the Savior. Most of all the Yazidi must understand that only Jesus can forgive their sin and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to raise up a disciple making movement among the Yazidi in the USA and Europe. Pray the Lord moves believers to help the American Yazidi in practical ways. Pray that the Yazidi leaders and heads of families would be open to the claims of Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project