Yazidis make pilgrimage to Lalesh Temple after surviving Daesh threat

Adherents of one of the world’s oldest religions have been subject to mass killings and kidnappings under Daesh rule in Iraq.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A woman kisses a wall during a ritual at Lalesh temple.

Followers of one of the world's oldest religions are returning to their most holy site, the Lalesh Temple in Nineveh Valley in northern Iraq. They believe it is where creation began.

Yazidism calls for worshippers to make the pilgrimage once a year, after a three day fast. The minority religious group's practices go back 7,000 years to the beginning of settled agricultural civilisation in the region.

"We worship God," said Yazidi spiritual leader Baba Chawesh. "Killing is forbidden in our religion."

But the Yazidis have also been victims of dozens of attempts to exterminate them – the latest by the Daesh terrorist organisation, which considers their beliefs to be heresy.

TRT World's Nicole Johnston has more.