Yazidis in Armenia
|35,272 (2011, census)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Armavir, Aragatsotn, Ararat, Kotayk provinces and Yerevan|
|Northern Kurdish (Kurmanci), Armenian, Russian|
|Related ethnic groups|
|distinct ethno-religious group|
Yazidis in Armenia (Armenian: Եզդիներ Yezdiner, Kurdish: Êzidî Yezidi, Russian: Езиды Yezidi) are a Kurdish subgroup and 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 the Russian Empire (now the territory of 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 was 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 SSR'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 52,700. Thus, of ca. 60,000 persons formerly classified among the Kurds of Armenia, 88% identified themselves as Yezidi.
According to the 2011 census, there are 35,272 Yazidis in Armenia. Ten years earlier, in the 2001 census, 40,620 Yazidis were registered in Armenia. Media have estimated the number of Yazidis in Armenia as between 30,000 and 50,000. Most of them are descendants of refugees to Armenia following the persecution during Ottoman rule, including during the Armenian Genocide, when many Armenians found refuge in Yazidi villages.
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 school 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|
On 29 September 2012 Yazidis opened their first temple outside their Lalish homeland - the temple of "Ziarat" in Aknalich village in Armavir province of Armenia. In August 2015 an architectural design for a new temple in Aknalich was released; the temple is planned to be completed in 2017.
Notable Armenian-Yazidi people
- Amar Suloev
- Aziz Shavershian
- Roman Amoyan
- Aslan Usoyan
- Zara Mgoyan
- Emînê Evdal
- Arab Shamilov
- Eskerê Boyîk
- Heciyê Cindî
- Têmûrê Xelîl
- Tosinê Reşîd
- Xelîlê Çaçan Mûradov
- Jalile Jalil
- Ordîxanê Celîl
- Qyaram Sloyan
- Yurik Mamedov
- "2011 Armenian census" (PDF). National Statistical Service. 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20071223113150/http://220.127.116.11/publications/csq/csq-article.cfm?id=1360&highlight=molokan. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2016. Missing or empty
-  Archived January 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- "The Ethnic Minorities of Armenia" (PDF). Web.archive.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "De Jure Population (Urban, Rural) by Age and Ethnicity" (PDF). National Statistical Service. 2001. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Armenia". State.gov. 2005-02-28. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Armenia". State.gov. 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- Sherwood, Harriet (25 July 2016). "World's largest Yazidi temple under construction in Armenia". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
-  Archived April 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Ziarat Day". ArmeniaNow.com. 2012-09-29. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "New Temple In Armenia: Laying Of Foundation Stone To Start In September – EzidiPress English". Ezidipress.com. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- The Armenian Portrait of the Peacock Angel (A polemical review of Garnik Asatrian and Victoria Arakelova’s The Religion of the Peacock Angel. The Yezidis and Their Spirit World')