Yazidis in Armenia

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Yazidis in Armenia Armenia
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Armavir, Aragatsotn, Ararat, Kotayk provinces and Yerevan

Kurdish: 31,310 (77.1%)
Armenian: 5,278 (12.9%)
Russian: 230 (0.6%)

Other: 3,802 (9.4%)
Related ethnic groups

The Yazidis (Armenian: Եզդիներ Yezdiner) are the largest religious minority in Armenia. Ethnically Yazidis are Kurds, which makes Kurds the largest ethnic minority in Armenia. Yazidis are well integrated into the Armenian society. They have freedom of religion and non-interference in their cultural traditions.


Early 20th century[edit]

Many Yazidis came to Armenia and Georgia during the 19th and early 20th centuries to escape religious persecution, as they were oppressed by the Ottoman Turks and the Sunni Kurds who tried to convert them to Islam. The Yazidis were massacred alongside the Armenians during the Armenian Genocide, causing many to flee to Russian held parts of Armenia.[2] The first ever Yazidi school opened in Armenia in 1920.[3]

Nagorno-Karabakh War[edit]

Due to the ethnic tension created by the war with Azerbaijan, the Yazidi community denounced its ties with the mostly Muslim Kurds that fled the country and tried to establish itself as a distinct ethnic group. The Yezidis showed Armenian patriotism during the Nagorno-Karabakh war when many died in service.[3]

Present situation[edit]

According to the 2001 Census, there are about 40,620 Yazidis in Armenia.[1]

Reports on the relations between Yazidis and the Armenian government have been mixed.

According to a 2004 U.S. Department of State human rights report, Yazidis are subjected to some harassment in Armenia. A high percentage of Yazidi children do not attend school, due to poverty and a lack of teachers who speak their native language.[4]

According to a 2007 U.S. Department of State human rights report, "As in previous years, Yezidi leaders did not complain that police and local authorities subjected their community to discrimination".[5]


Yazidis in Armenia by provinces
Province (marz) Yazidis  % of Yazidis in Armenia
Armavir 17,665
Aragatsotn 6,405
Ararat 5,940
Yerevan 4,733
Kotayk 4,097
Shirak 974
Lori 793
Gegharkunik 8
Syunik 4
Tavush 1
Vayots Dzor 0
Total 40,620 100%

There are 22 rural settlements in the Republic of Armenia with Yazidi majority. The biggest Yazidi village in Armenia is Verin Artashat in Ararat Province with 4,270 residents.

Aragatsotn Province[edit]

There are 19 Yazidi-inhabited villages in Aragatsotn Province.

Aragats district Talin district Ashtarak district

Armavir Province[edit]

There are two Yazidi villages in Armavir Province: Yeraskhahun and Ferik, both in Ejmiatsin district.

On 29 September 2012 Yezidis opened their first temple outside their Lalish homeland - the temple of "Zariat" in Armavir province of Armenia.[6]

Ararat Province[edit]

The only Yazidi village is Verin Artashat, near Artashat.

Notable Armenian-Yazidi people[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]