Church of England looks to help Yazidis gain recognition as an official religion

Senior leaders of the Yazidi community have met with the Church of England leaders who have agreed to help them gain official recognition as a religion. The aim is to get more protection and support from the international community for the Yazidis as a persecuted religious group.

"If we could invite the leading members of the Yazidi faith over here to speak to the senior members of the Church of England, who are obviously a very powerful body, certainly in the UK but also around the world, that they could begin to get some kind of ground swell of opinion to influence others," Robert Cole, director of communications at the AMAR Foundation, told Premier. He acknowledged the significant help the Anglican leaders can lend to the Yazidis.

Cole explained that one major obstacle for the Yazidis is their lack of a written text. He said that if only Yazidism has a religious book then it'll be easier to be recognized as a religion. He reasoned that the extremists of Daesh take liberties in persecuting the Yazidis because they are recognized more as a cult or devil worshippers.

The monotheist Yazidis, in fact, believe in only one God who rule the world together with seven angels, including Melek Taus or the Peacock Angel.

The minority group has been overtaken by Islamic State militants during their Iraqi invasion in 2014 and forced to take refuge in MountSinjar.

"Often they suffer because of their faith - it's a faith people don't know much about, it's not written down," Bishop of Derby Rev. Dr. Alastair Redfern told ITV News. He also said that the Church of England is currently working on listening and helping others understand what the Yazidi faith is all about, calling this endeavor as "part of the family of faiths in the world."

The Yazidis have also recently revised their rules regarding women and girls who have been raped by the Islamic State terrorists.

"What happened to them was forced on them, and they should not be shunned," said Mirza Haji Mirzi, head of the Sinjar Yazidis.