+++ Brunch and Briefing on the plight of the Yezidis and what our congregations and communities can do with very little effort to positively impact the lives of this ethnic and religious minority facing genocide in Northern Iraq.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 from 10:00 am to noon
Walnut Creek United Methodist Church
(Raine Room, use the church office entrance)
1543 Sunnyvale Avenue, Walnut Creek
Please RSVP so we know how much food to prepare – firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.261.3404.
PLEASE DRESS in a way that you will feel comfortable seeing yourself on videotape. A documentary filmmaker will include snippets of our meeting in a 30 minute documentary on the Ezidis scheduled to air on PBS.
Peace and Blessings,
Reverend Will McGarvey, Executive Director, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County
Rabbi Pam Frydman, Ezidi Hope Bay Area Representative
BACKGROUND: Yezidis (also spelled Ezidis and Yazidis) are an ethnic and religious minority who traditionally lived in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia. During recent decades, thousands of Yezidis have immigrated to North America and Europe to escape persecution and genocide. Genocide has been perpetrated against Yezidis since the mid 1900’s first by the Ottoman Turks and now by ISIL. There were 24 million Yezidis in the mid 1900’s. Now there are less than 1 million.
Yezidis are not Kurds, but Kurds descend from Yezidis. Yezidis are monotheists with an oral tradition. Their authentic scriptures are being written down now. The Yezidi calendar is in the year 6764. Yezidi new year will be celebrated this year on April 15, 2015. The Yezidi faith includes Adam, a flood story, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and angels with similarities in beliefs found in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism.
The International Association of Human Values, a primarily Hindu nonprofit, provides relief and rescue in areas where Yezidis are suffering most. IsraAID is helping both Yezidis and Christians who are fleeing Daesh forces.
An Ezidi youth education website at http://childrenofyazidi.wix.com/yazidi-education teaches history, religion and culture with no mention of atrocities.
Ezidi adult education websites are at http://www.yezidis.org.