The largest Yazidi temple opened in Armenia. The latter is built from Armenian granite and Iranian marble and has symbolic importance, coining the many years of brotherhood between the people of these two nations. 

Text : Margarit Mirzoyan    Photo : from Ararat Mirzoyan's FB page   


On September 29, Quba Mere Diwane Yazidi temple was opened in Armavir region’s Aknalich village. The latter is not intended to overshadow Lalish, the main holy temple for Yazidi community, located in Northern Iran, however, it’s the largest of the very few Yazidi temples in the world. The construction of the temple was financed by a Russian-based Yazidi businessman Mirza Sloian. The architect is Artak Ghulian, who previously built over 20 Armenian Churches, including Moscow’s new Armenia cathedral.

The representatives of the RA government, National Assembly, namely the NA President Ararat Mirzoyan and other officials, the Armavir Governor Hambardzum Matevosyan, along with Armenian and Yazidi clerics, participated in the opening ceremony of the temple and the monuments in the memory of the Yazidi victims of massacres by ISIL in Iraq and the Yazidi national hero Davresh Avidi. Ararat Mirzoyan highlighted the symbolism and logic of having the largest Yezidi temple built in Armenia.

“Armenia is home to the Yazidi people. The children of the Yazidi people have been alongside their Armenian brothers for many fatal and heroic moments. Unfortunately, in their modern history, Yezidis like Armenians have also fallen victim to genocide,” said Mr. Mirzoyan 

The location choice of the temple is not accidental as Aknalich is a mixed Armenian- Yazidi village with around 3000 population, and the Soviet Union’s first Yazidi temple, Ziyarat is also located in the same village.

The temple is of particular importance for the Yazidis all across the world, as the community has undergone various hardships, with the most recent horrific mass killings in 2014.Later that year, UN named these events taking place in Iraq as a genocide. The name of the temple, which roughly translated means “All will come together” may serve as a symbol of resilience for all the victims of these absurd events taking place not hundreds of years ago, but in our century. Bearing in mind their inequitable history, Yazidis call themselves “people of 72 genocides”. Some of these dark pages they’d shared with Armenians as well, as reportedly many Yazidi people were killed amid the Armenian Genocide and it’s a not a coincidence that the construction works of the temple started months after the commemoration of these mass slaughter which took lives of over million of Armenians.

Originally, coming from Easter Turkey and Northern Iraq, Yazidis have supported Armenians for many decades and currently they resemble the largest minority group in Armenia with around 35,000 population according to the census of 2011. Today as well, they actively participate in the social life of the country, have their presence in the National Assembly with zero interference into their religious faith. Large segments of the Yazidi population can be found in Russia, living there for work. They are also scattered all across the world with the largest Western European diaspora community in Germany.