Czech Bishop Vaclav Maly promised moral support and the promotion of Yazidis, a religious community that mainly inhabits northern Iraq, at a meeting with Baba Sheikh Hadi, spokesman for a significant representative of the Yazidis, in Prague on Wednesday, he told the media.
The Yazidis, whose faith includes the elements of more religions including Christianity and Islam, have been largely suppressed and persecuted in their home region. "I promised moral support and help in boosting people's awareness about this peaceful religious community in Iraq," Maly said.
Baba Sheikh Hadi visited Maly together with Iraqi Ambassador Walid Shiltagh to inform him about the situation of the Yazidis in the areas occupied by Islamic State, Prague Archbishop's spokesman Ales Pistora told CTK.
Maly said they discussed the difficult situation of the Yazidis in Iraq. "Out of 560,000 of Yazidis, 400,000 are staying in refugee camps and 15 percent have left abroad. About 3,000 women remain captured by the Daesh (IS) brutes, and the 2,200 women who have been liberated suffer from post-traumatic shock.
Most of them were raped and are pregnant," Maly said. The Yazidis have recently been faced with brutal atrocities on the part of IS, that enslaved thousands of them. The largest Yazidi group lives in northern Iraq near Mosul, from where, however, a part of them fled from IS to Syria in 2014.
Their significant communities also live in Turkey, Georgia and Armenia. They are ethnic Kurds, but they consider themselves a specific nation. The Yazidis are often viewed as an Islamic sect, but their faith also contains elements of Hinduism, Persian Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, shamanism and other religions.