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Yarsani Religion – Beliefs and Practices

Yarsani Religion
The followers of the Yarsani faith are called by many names and scattered across at least three countries. The creation of this faith is often attributed to Islamic Sufism (the mystical branch of Islam) but the Yarsan themselves claim that their beliefs have always been and Islam is a heresy of Yarsanism. […]

June 17th, 2017|Categories: Iraq|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Yarsani Religion – Beliefs and Practices

Yezidi – Questions and Answers

Regarding the Peacock icons and two that are missing. Are these very old relics and hold historical significance? If so, does the author know approximately how old they are?
The icons are old, but only historically relevant to the Yezidi. They claim that they are several thousand years old, but no one knows for sure. […]

June 8th, 2017|Categories: Iraq|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Yezidi – Questions and Answers

Celebrating 25 Years – Adapting to Change

1996-2000 Adapting to Change
In the years 1996-2000, Servant Group staff and volunteers learned to adapt, a great quality to possess in any cross-cultural service. In Nashville, that meant a new approach to interfacing with the existing Kurdish community and a new platform for welcoming thousands of those newly arrived. Internationally, that meant responding to […]

May 23rd, 2017|Categories: Nashville|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Celebrating 25 Years – Adapting to Change

Yezidi Mythology – Creation, Floods, and a Large Black Snake (4)

Yezidi Mythology
Some Yezidi mythology has been translated into English and other languages. So far there are two parts roughly translated — The Revelation and The Black Book.  The Revelation mainly consists of God speaking to the Yezidi about who he is and who they are in relation to him.

However, The Black Book contains more […]

May 16th, 2017|Categories: Iraq|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Yezidi Mythology – Creation, Floods, and a Large Black Snake (4)

Yezidi Castes, Culture, and the Elephant in the Room (3)

If you have kept up with the previous blog posts you may have noticed that Yezidi culture is very complex. In this installment, we’re going to be exploring the layers of society (the Yezidi castes) and the influences from other cultures around them.

Yezidi Castes and Culture
The caste system in Yezidi culture is […]

May 2nd, 2017|Categories: Iraq|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Yezidi Castes, Culture, and the Elephant in the Room (3)

Yezidi Sacred Holidays and Pilgrimages (2)

Yezidi – Sacred Holidays and Pilgrimages
Now that we’ve covered some of the basic beliefs, scriptures, and rituals of Yezidi, let’s get into the really exciting stuff — Yezidi holidays and pilgrimages. Stick with me! This could get complicated.
When we previously discussed the practices of Yezidi faith, you may have noticed that there really […]

April 25th, 2017|Categories: Iraq|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Yezidi Sacred Holidays and Pilgrimages (2)

For the Love of Sport

From one of our short-term team members, Brian Haney, Maryland:

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to play soccer with the boys for most of the day one day. As a former soccer player, I was floored to do this. Soccer itself is the universal sport and language. Just seeing the excitement […]

April 18th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on For the Love of Sport

Yezidi Theology, Oral Tradition, and Ritual (1)

Yezidi – Mystery Religions in the Middle East
The Yezidi (or Yazidi) religious minority has been lifted from obscurity for the very worst reason. They have been brought to the attention of the international world because of the cruelty and slaughter that came upon them in the form of the Islamic State. Many people heard […]

April 17th, 2017|Categories: Iraq|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Yezidi Theology, Oral Tradition, and Ritual (1)

Adnan Asked Us to Share His Story

Adnan’s Story
Adnan has lived in Athens for about a year now. Like many others floating in the ancient Greek city, he’s from Syria. But that Syria doesn’t exist anymore. He’s been able to work some for the last few months helping medical personnel and teaching about mental health issues relating to trauma. He’s a […]

April 10th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Adnan Asked Us to Share His Story

Back to the Islands

Back to the Islands
The refugee crisis in Greece is often portrayed as connected to the war in Syria. And while Syrians do represent the majority of refugees in Europe, our team spent last week on a small Greek island in a camp that is incredibly diverse. We met refugees from as far east as Bangladesh, as far […]

April 4th, 2017|Categories: Europe|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Back to the Islands