Every Tribe, Tongue and Nation: The Yazidi People

yazidi

Headlines matter. They orient us to events taking place around us, and we rightly give attention to them. But there’s a problem with headlines. They can give information…and hide people. Real, thinking, breathing, lie-awake-at-night, kiss-their-kids-good-morning people. Even when headlines and journalists try to take us beyond the facts to meet the people, they do so from a limited perspective. And when that limited perspective excludes what God finds most significant, then the headlines mislead us. Take, for instance, the Yazidi people.

The headlines tell us about this religious and ethnic minority group as they are targeted by the Islamic State for extermination. President Obama’s administration is reportedly considering labeling these assaults as genocide. News agencies from the BBC to the Washington Post have reported on the situation, detailing the atrocities and describing the beliefs of the Yazidi people. We should be aware of their plight, and pray for justice and righteousness to prevail in the troubled Middle East. But, as Christian read the headlines about the Yazidi, we must not forget what the secular media will never report: the Yazidi people do not know Jesus.

By most estimates, there are virtually no Yazidi Christians. Instead, they follow an ancient religion that separates the creator god from his creation and worship the created angel Tawsi Melek, the Peacock Angel, as an intermediary between the creator and man.

It’s an understandable error. The eternal power and divine nature of the true God are clearly seen from creation (Romans 1:20). And something in the sinful human heart, standing before this holy God, clutches at fig leaves and hides from his presence. Enter the worship of angels. Perhaps they can bridge the gap between an awesome God and ungodly humans. It’s understandable – but it’s false.

What the Yazidi do not know is that the true God, whom they have rejected and confined to the heavens as transcendently unapproachable, has done the unthinkable. He has drawn near. The Lord Jesus Christ, Creator and King of angels and men, walked the same dusty hills the Yazidi now inhabit. Angels can never atone for sin – but Jesus can, and did. Once for all. For us. And for the Yazidis.

The headlines will never tell us that knowing this Savior is the greatest need of these needy people. But saints of the Lord Jesus Christ must never forget. This month, as you read of the Yazidi in the headlines, would you pray for them? Pray that:

  • Their physical suffering and unjust treatment would end. The Yazidi are in great need now, and it is right that we pray for these needs. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:20). “Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you!” (Psalm 9:19).
  • Their ultimate spiritual need would be met: that they would come to know the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ as the only bridge between God and man. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

Josh Blount is an associate pastor at Living Faith Church in Franklin, WV. He is a graduate of the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College and currently pursuing an M.Div through Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Anna have one son, Elliot.