Shafaq News / Johor Ali, the undersecretary of the Yazidis Emir, announced on Saturday that Ali Elias Nasser succeeded the Baba Sheikh as the new spiritual leader.
“The Yazidi Spiritual Council and Nobles chose the new Baba Sheikh was chosen and his inauguration ceremony will take place next Wednesday.” Ali told Shafaq News agency.
Nasser, born in 1979 in Shikhan district, his father, Elias Baba, was spiritual leader and a religious reference for the sect from 1978 to 1995.
The last Baba Sheikh Khurto Hajji Ismail has died at the age of 87 after being hospitalized earlier with kidney and heart problems. The spiritual leader was lauded for reconciling feuding Yazidis.
The Yazidis are a Kurdish religious minority of some one million individuals worldwide. According to the German Central Council of Yazidis, some 750,000 live in northwest Iraq alone, with other communities in Syria, Turkey and Iran.
The roots of their religion, Yazidism, can be traced back some 2,000 years before Christianity, though their belief practices combine elements of that religion with Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and ancient Mesopotamian religions.
The head of the Yazidi community Mir Tahsin died in January 2019, with his son, Hazim, taking over from him.