Yezidis - Encyclopedia

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YEZIDIS, a sect of devil-worshippers, calling themselves Dasni, who are found in Kurdistan, Armenia and the Caucasus. Their religion has points of connexion with old Iranian and Assyrian beliefs and traces of Manichaeism and Nestorianism. Thus they regard the devil as the creative agent of the Supreme God, a reinstated fallen angel who is the author of evil. They avoid mentioning his name and represent him by the peacock. They regard Christ as an angel in human form and recognize 1 In 1879 the Zoroastrian community of Yezd numbered 6483, 1242 residing in the city, 5241 in the villages; in 1892 the community numbered 6908, and as many have emigrated, it is computed that it now numbers not more than 7000.

Mahomet as a prophet with Abraham and the patriarchs. They believe in a future life and practise both circumcision and baptism. The name is probably derived from the Kurdish and Persian Yazdan, God; though some have connected it with the city of Yezd, or with Yezid, the second Omayyad caliph (720-24). Their sacred book is called Al-Yalvah, and its chief exponent was Shaikh Adi (c. 1200).

See Layard, Ninevah and its Remains (London, 1850); Menant, Les Ye'zidis (Paris, 1892).

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