Religion


Religion
   Although most Kurds are Sunni Muslims, they are not as a rule overly religious. Indeed, an old Kurdish maxim has it that compared with an unbeliever, a Kurd is a good Muslim.
   This having been said, however, it must also be noted that there exists an incredible amount of religious diversity among the Kurds, not only in Islam but also in various pre-Islamic, heterodox, and syn-cretist beliefs. What is more, sheikhs still play an important religious as well as political role in rural areas. Finally, as with the rest of the Islamic world, Islamist forces have been gaining strength among a minority of Kurds. Indeed, within the sway of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, the Islamists were long the third strongest force after the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Sunni Kurds distinguish themselves from their Sunni Turkish and Arab neighbors by adhering to the Shafii school of Islamic law, instead of the Hanefi school. In addition, at least 5 percent of the Kurds profess orthodox Shiite beliefs, particularly in Iran.
   Among Iraqi Kurds, adherents of what has been called the Cult of Angels still exist. Alevis (Qizilbash), Ahl-i Haqq, and Yezidis contain elements of pre-Islamic, syncretistic, and extreme Islamic heterodox beliefs. Although some claim that as many as one-third of the Kurds still adhere to these sects, this is almost certainly an exaggeration. In Turkey, a sizable minority of the ethnic Kurds is Alevis, which serves to divide them from their orthodox Sunni cousins. Naqshbandi and Qadiri sufi orders also continue to play an important role in the lives of some Kurds.
   Finally, it should be noted that historically Christians and Jews were also present among the Kurds. Christian Assyrians still constitute an important minority within the KRG's sway in northern Iraq.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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  • Religion — religion …   Dictionary of sociology

  • RELIGION — L’ÉTYMOLOGIE du terme religion reste incertaine; elle est controversée depuis l’Antiquité. À la suite de Lactance, de Tertullien, les auteurs chrétiens se plaisent à expliquer le latin religio par les verbes ligare, religare , lier, relier. La… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Religion — • The voluntary subjection of oneself to God Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Religion     Religion     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • religion — RELIGION. s. f. Culte qu on rend à la Divinité, suivant la creance que l on en a. La Religion Juifve. la Religion Chrestienne. la bonne, la fausse Religion. la Religion de Mahomet. professer une Religion. faire profession d une Religion. faire… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Religion — Re*li gion (r[ e]*l[i^]j [u^]n), n. [F., from L. religio; cf. religens pious, revering the gods, Gr. ale gein to heed, have a care. Cf. {Neglect}.] 1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • religión — sustantivo femenino 1. Área: religión Conjunto de creencias y prácticas que ponen en relación al hombre con la divinidad. religión budista. religión católica. religión cristiana. religión judía. religión monoteísta. religión musulmana. religión… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Religion — Sf std. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Im Frühneuhochdeutschen entlehnt aus l. religio ( ōnis) (auch: gewissenhafte Berücksichtigung, Sorgfalt ), zu l. relegere bedenken, achtgeben . Gemeint ist ursprünglich die gewissenhafte Sorgfalt in der Beachtung von …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • religion — religion, denomination, sect, cult, communion, faith, creed, persuasion, church can all denote a system of religious belief and worship or the body of persons who accept such a system. Religion, the usual uncolored term, may apply to a system (as …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • religion — Religion, Profession de religion, Hierodulia, B. Faire profession de religion, In manum conuenire antistitis, In mancipio antistitis esse coepisse, B. Diverses religions, Aliae atque aliae religiones. Estimant que c estoit contre la religion et… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • religión — (Del lat. religĭo, ōnis). 1. f. Conjunto de creencias o dogmas acerca de la divinidad, de sentimientos de veneración y temor hacia ella, de normas morales para la conducta individual y social y de prácticas rituales, principalmente la oración y… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • religion — [ri lij′ən] n. [ME religioun < OFr or L: OFr religion < L religio, reverence for the gods, holiness, in LL(Ec), a system of religious belief < ? religare, to bind back < re , back + ligare, to bind, bind together; or < ? re + IE… …   English World dictionary


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