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Yazidis on the mountain of Sinjar, Iraqi–Syrian border, 1920s.
|Regions with significant populations|
|Armenia||35,272 (2011 census)|
Northern Kurdish (a.k.a. Ezdiki among some Yazidis)
|Baba Sheikh||Khurto Hajji Ismail|
|Other name(s)||Êzidî, Yazdani|
The Yazidis (also Yezidis, Êzidî; i// yə-ZEE-dees) are an ethnically Kurdish religious community or an ethno-religious groupindigenous to northern Mesopotamia (see also Ezidkhan) who are strictly endogamous. Their religion, Yazidism is linked to ancient Mesopotamian religions and combines aspects of Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Yazidis who marry non-Yazidis are automatically considered to be converted to the religion of their spouse and therefore are not permitted to call themselves Yazidis. They live primarily in the Nineveh Province of Iraq. Additional communities in Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Iran, and Syria have been in decline since the 1990s as a result of significant migration to Europe, especially to Germany. The Yazidis' cultural practices are observably Kurdish, and almost all speak Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish). The Soviet Union considered the Yazidis to be Kurds, as does Sharaf Khan Bidlisi's Sheref-nameh of 1597, which cites seven of the Kurdish tribes as being at least partly Yazidi, and Kurdish tribal confederations as containing substantial Yazidi sections.
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