A large Yazidi temple is being built in the village of Aknalich, 35km from Armenia’s capital, Yerevan.
Called Quba Mere Diwane, it will be made of locally sourced granite and Iranian marble and will include a conference hall, seminary and museum. It is set to be finished in 2017.
Originating from eastern Turkey and northern Iraq, the Yazidis have endured centuries of violent persecution, with many killed and forced to flee by the Ottomans and most recently Isis. Yazidis form the largest minority group in Armenia, where they number over 35,000, while their population in Germany stands at over 100,000.
“This temple is important for us because our community is facing extinction. Our community is displaced around the world, and we need temples in each place for our children to keep their culture and identity,” Ahmed Burjus of the UK branch of Yazda, a global Yazidi organisation, told the Guardian.
According to EurasiaNet, the buidling is being bankrolled by Mirza Sloian, a Moscow-based Yazidi businessman.
The main Yazidi temple, Lalish (pictured above), is located in northern Iraq. Yazids are expected to go on pilgrimage there once in their lifetime.