Yezidi heritage

Yezidi Religious Heritage in Iraq: Transformation and Threat

Eszter Spat will be speak at a symposium at AUIS on Yezidi Religious Heritage in Iraq: Transformation and Threat. The presentation examines the recent transformation of Yezidi religious heritage, with special attention on the impact of recent political events. Yezidi religious and ritual life has been undergoing a serious transformation due to the emergence of literacy and changing socio-economic circumstances in the past few decades. The 2014 August attack on Sinjar and the subsequent mass-displacement of Sinjari Yezidis in the Kurdistan Region has wrought further changes. The dispersal of formerly close-knit communities, out-migration and loss of sacred sites poses a threat to traditional religio-ritual life. At the same time, the presence of Sinjari IDPs in the Yezidi settlements of the Kurdistan Region may give rise to new religious dynamics through access to local practices and even lead to the emergence of “hybrid” religious observances.
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