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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; perhaps as many as 8,000 died.

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References in periodicals archive ?
He also stated that the Kurdistan Regional Government will continue its efforts to obtain international recognition of the crimes committed against Yezidi Kurds as genocide.
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.
Also, the Kurdistan Regional Government continues its efforts, through a special committee, to obtain international recognition of the crimes committed against the Yezidi Kurds as genocide.
While the KRG Council of Ministers expresses its gratitude to the Syrian Kurdish People s Protection Units, YPG , for having helped the Peshmerga forces during ISIS attacks, to rescue the displaced Yezidi Kurds in the area of Sinjar, we consider the move on 14 January by the Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK, to create an administrative council to run Sinjar area, as an illegal act, which goes against the constitution and laws that are in force in Iraq and Kurdistan Region.
Regarding possible international recognition of the atrocities committed by ISIS against Yezidi Kurds in Sinjar as genocide, Prime Minister Barzani said, ?
We believe that what happened to the Yezidis is genocide, and the government will spare no effort in helping that the crimes committed against the Yezidi Kurds be internationally recognized as genocide.
Before his statement some people thought Kurds have remained helpless with no supporters especially after thousands of Yezidi Kurds from Shingal and surrounding villages have taken shelter on a mountain, fleeing the capture of their town by militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS).
The holy shrine of the Yezidi Kurds, about an hour and a half drive outside of Erbil, has become a tourist attraction; from a distance and behind trees, the conical roofs represent the Yezidis.
These terrorists want to murder Yezidi Kurds because shedding the blood of Yezidis is not taboo according to Arab terrorists, as they think they will go to paradise if they kill a Yezidi," said Tirwanshi.