Yazidis

Lalish, the holly city for Yazidis, is rarely visited by foreigners.
Located in a small valley next to Mosul, in Northern Iraq, this urban temple remains hidden from uncomfortable looks.

The Yazidism believers, formerly the Kurdish official religion, have been historically known as Satan worshippers.

This confession was found in the XII century by a Sufi holly man. Its followers number more than 800.000 people spread over Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia and they keep alive one of the most complex and unknown religions in the Middle East.

The extended belief that they venerate the Devil is nothing but an historical misunderstanding. For Yazidis, God is so compassionate and merciful that they don't have to care much about pleasing him.
Instead of that, they pay tribute to "Sheitan" because he is the one that they are really afraid of.

During the time I spent in Lalish I saw many families eating, drinking and praying in totally harmony between the walls of this maze of temples and chapels.