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Middle Eastern religion, a syncretic combination of Zoroastrian, Manichaean, Jewish, Nestorian Christian, and Islamic elements. Its adherents, numbering fewer than 100,000, are found in Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Armenia, the Caucasus, and Iran. Most speak Kurdish. They believe that they were created separately from the rest of humankind and segregate themselves from the rest of society. In Yazidi belief, seven angels, subordinate to a supreme but uninvolved God, rule the universe. The belief that God restored the Devil to his position as chief of the angels upon the Devil's repentance has earned the Yazidi an undeserved reputation as Devil worshipers. Their chief saint is Sheikh 'Adi, a 12th-century Muslim mystic. Their name derives from Yazid I (c. 645–683), from whose supporters they may be descended.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Yazidi, visit Britannica.com.
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