Pope calls for justice, freedom and peace for Yazidis and other minorities
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis met today with a delegation representing the world's Yazidi community. During the meeting, the Holy Father expressed hope that Yazidis, like other religious minorities facing violence and persecution, will find justice and return to a free and peaceful life.
The delegation was led by the head of all the Yazidis, Tahsin Said Ali Beg, and their Supreme Spiritual Leader, "Baba Sheikh", Skeikh Kato. It included Yazidi representatives from northern Iraq, Georgia and Germany.
"The Delegation thanked the Pope - who was referred to by one of the delegation as 'father of the poor' - for his support of the Yazidis in this time of persecution and suffering," Holy See Press Office Director Fr Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
"They informed him on the situation of almost 5,000 Yazidi women reduced to slavery by ISIS, and highlighted the good relations among the Yazidi and Christians as well as their reciprocal solidarity."
The Vatican spokesman went on to say that the pope expressed his support and spiritual closeness to the Yazidi people in this time of trial.
There are about a million and a half Yazidis in the world: half a million in Iraq, with others in Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and in the Diaspora.