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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 ?
During my recent visit to Iraq in November, I spent time with members of the Yezidi community and other minority groups.
Also discussed was the need to ensure that humanitarian and military aid start reaching the Yezidi and Christian minorities as it is currently being diverted away from the neediest groups by various local governments and authorities.
8226;On-going political and social discrimination against the Assyrian and Yezidi people, including the refusal to allow Assyrians and Yezidis to leave Arbil with proper credentials as full citizens or Iraq.
The mission purchased two new horses and named them Malek Tawooz, after the Yezidi Satanic deity, and Sultan Abdul Hamid, the last Ottoman sultan.
The people of Kurdistan view the mass killing of Yezidi Kurds and abduction of the Yezidi Kurdish women in this area by ISIS, as a new painful tragedy for Kurdistan.
Deliberate damage, motivated by ideology, by IS forces to sites such as Yezidi shrines and a 14th century mosque.
This information was supported by a Yezidi activist who revealed that the women whom she helped free told of an Australian ISIS fighter who held them captives.
Prince Zeid also expressed his deep dismay at the situation facing hundreds of captured Yezidi women and girls, as well as some from other ethnic and religious groups, who have reportedly been sold into slavery, forced into marriage and repeatedly raped by IS fighters since their home areas were overrun in August.
A few months ago, not many Americans, in fact Europeans as well, knew that a Yezidi community in fact existed in northwest Iraq.
From the news we learned that the Yezidi people of the area had fled into mountains around the city of Sinjar to escape, having been ordered to convert to a particular brand of Islam or die.
They may recall the ambush of Yezidi Prince Ali Beg by the "Blind Prince" of Rawanduz in 1832, or the campaign of the Ottoman official Omar Wahbi Pasha, who set the crops alight in Sheikhan while Yezidi women and children were still working in the fields.
ISIS militants have killed hundreds of Iraq's minority Yezidi community, burying some alive and taking women as slaves, an Iraqi government minister, as US warplanes again bombed the jihadists.