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Middle Eastern religious community whose beliefs incorporate elements of ZoroastrianismZoroastrianism
, religion founded by Zoroaster, but with many later accretions. Scriptures

Zoroastrianism's scriptures are the Avesta or the Zend Avesta [Pahlavi avesta=law, zend=commentary].
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, SufismSufism
, an umbrella term for the ascetic and mystical movements within Islam. While Sufism is said to have incorporated elements of Christian monasticism, gnosticism, and Indian mysticism, its origins are traced to forms of devotion and groups of penitents (zuhhad
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, Christianity, ManichaeismManichaeism
or Manichaeanism
, religion founded by Mani (c.216–c.276). Mani's Life

Mani (called Manes by the Greeks and Romans) was born near Baghdad, probably of Persian parents; his father may have been a member of the Mandaeans.
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, and Judaism. Its members, numbering between 200,000 and one million, are mainly KurdsKurds
, a non-Arab Middle Eastern minority population that inhabits the region known as Kurdistan, an extensive plateau and mountain area, c.74,000 sq mi (191,660 sq km), in SW Asia, including parts of E Turkey, NE Iraq, and NW Iran and smaller sections of NE Syria and
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 living in and around MosulMosul
, Arab. al Mawsil, city (1987 pop. 664,221), provincial capital, N Iraq, on the Tigris River, opposite the ruins of Nineveh. It is the largest city in N Iraq and the third largest city in the country.
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, N Iraq. There are smaller communities in Turkey, Syria, Iran, Georgia, and Armenia and, as a result of recent emigration due to persecution, in Germany and other Western countries.

The Yazidi, whose origins are obscure, believe in a monotheistic God who created the world and assigned its care to seven holy beings, or angels, led by the archangel Malak Ta'us, or the Peacock Angel, a fallen angel who repented and is venerated by the Yazidi. The story of Malak Ta'us, as well as his alternative name of Shaytan, have led Muslims and others to consider Yazidis devil worshippers. Their chief saint is a 12th-century mystic, Sheikh Adi bin Musafir, whose tomb at Lalesh (or Lalish), near Mosul, is the site of an annual pilgrimage and festival. Another important festival is the New Year, which falls in the spring.

The Yazidi have historically been an insular community with oral traditions; they marry among themselves, and do not accept outsiders into the faith through conversion. Long viewed with suspicion by non-Yazidi neighbors, the Yazidi have been the victims of persecutions throughout their history, and of numerous terrorist attacks in Iraq in recent years. In the Islamic StateIslamic State
(IS), Sunni Islamic militant group committed to the establishment of an Islamic caliphate that would unite Muslims in a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state.
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 (IS) offensive in Iraq begun in 2014 Yazidis were slaughtered, enslaved, or forcibly converted if they did not escape capture by IS forces.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Chibok and Yezidi girls and women have undergone horrific human rights violations at the hands of violent extremists.
Thousands of Yezidi girls and women were forced into sex slavery by the extremist group in recent years.
When IS struck in Mosul and targeted all Christians, Yezidis and other minorities, it had a specific strategic goal - to tear at the social fabric of one of the world's most diverse cities.
She now travels the world speaking out on the genocide being inflicted on her Yezidi people and demanding release for the more than 3,000 women still held in bondage.
or to be gifted for free," said Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yezidi survivor of human trafficking.
Some 3,500 women, mainly Yezidi, remain enslaved and subjected to horrific violations on a daily basis, he reported.
On June 25, about 42 Yezidi women were abducted from the Sinjar region and taken to Syria where they are being used as sex slaves with some sold Isis from the city of Mosul who were indoctrinated and given military training.
Those being held are predominantly women and children and come primarily from the Yezidi community, but a number are also from other ethnic and religious minority communities," said the joint report issued in Geneva.
This was performed first by two women mourners from Azerbaijan who chanted in unison while slapping their laps, followed by a Yezidi singer, and by a Greek trio with powerful voices who sang a polyphonic lament, followed by silence to close each show.
The group has also been responsible for killing and enslaving hundreds of Kurdish Yezidi women in Shingal and parts of the Nineveh plain.
Adama Dieng visited Iraq in November 2015 and spent time with members of the Yezidi community and other minority groups.
Nouri Said, the commander of a Yezidi unit of the Kurds' peshmerga forces, says the forces will "remove the barriers along the front line" and move into the town.