Yazidis in Armenia
|Regions with significant populations|
|Armavir, Aragatsotn, Ararat, Kotayk provinces and Yerevan|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Part of a series on|
The yellow sun with twenty-one rays represents Mithra, the Sun as symbol of God, in Yazdani faiths.
|Blessed persons in Yezidi faith|
|Yezidi holy scripture and worship|
|Blessed persons in Yâresân faith|
|Yâresân holy scripture and worship|
|History and culture|
The Yazidis (Armenian: Եզդիներ Yezdiner) are the largest ethnic and religious minority in Armenia. They are well integrated into the Armenian society. They have freedom of religion and non-interference in their cultural traditions.
Early 20th century
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. The first ever Yazidi school opened in Armenia in 1920.
The Yezidi movement erupting in Armenia in 1988 appealed to the 3rd All-Armenian Yezidi Assembly convened on 30 September 1989 (the two previous Assemblies occurred at the dawn of the Armenian Soviet Republic’s history, in 1921 and 1923) to challenge the Government for the official recognition of their identity. As a result, the Yezidis were presented as a separate minority in the USSR population census of 1989. According to this very census, the total count of Yezidis in Armenia was 52700. Thus, of ca. 60 000 persons formerly classified among the Kurds of Armenia, 88% identified themselves as Yezidi.
According to the 2001 Census, there are about 40,620 Yazidis in Armenia.
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. Attendance rates among children in the Yezidi ethnic minority continued to be lower than average, partially due to economic reasons, a lack of Yezidi teachers and books, and the early removal of teenage girls from schools for marriage. In 2006 the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) supported the government's effort to publish textbooks for ethnic minorities, and in 2007 new Yezidi language textbooks appeared in some Yezidi schools around the country.
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".
|Province (marz)||Yazidis||% of Yazidis in Armenia|
There are 19 Yazidi-inhabited villages in Aragatsotn Province.
|Aragats district||Talin district||Ashtarak district|
Notable Armenian-Yazidi people
- National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia - 2001 Armenian National Census
- A Conditional Coexistence:Yezidi in Armenia
- The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
- Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2004, February 28, 2005
- Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Armenia
- Yerkramas Newspaper, 23 October 2012
- Armenia's Yezidi Kurds
- Armenia: Yezidi Identity Battle
- Being Yezidi
- Interviews on the Yezidis in Armenia
- Yezidis in Armenia Blog
- Yezidi Pilgrimage to Shamiram Photos
- Portraits of Yezidi Children
- Les Kurdes yézidis en Arménie