The Kaka’i call themselves ahl al haqq, which means “people of truth”. They are a Kurdish people group, living mainly in Iraq and Iran, with over 5 million members who speak Kurdish, Arabic and Farsi. Kaka’i men are identified by their large mustaches, which they wear proudly as a symbol of their religion.
Officially, they are registered as Muslims and Islamic Sharia law is forced on them. However, they prefer to follow their own secret religion, known as Yarsanism, a syncretic belief system that is similar to Sufism, but not well understood as it is forbidden to talk about. Yarsanism was founded in the late 14th century and was heavily influenced by Islamic mysticism. Like Sufis, the Kaka’i desire to have a personal relationship with God. Kaka’i men and women are enthusiastic musicians and love to sing their songs together in weekly meetings. As a despised minority, they feel very connected with Christians in their countries, and many have pictures representing Jesus in their homes. However, it is difficult for the Kaka’i to follow Jesus as this is seen as rejection of their faith, family and community.
Oriental-style hospitality is practiced extensively among the Kaka’i. Even if they are poor and don’t possess much, their honor compels them to give. A guest cannot pass a Kaka’i house without drinking refreshments and coffee and having something to eat.
WAYS TO PRAY:
Officially unrecognized by their governments, the Kaka’i are vulnerable to discrimination and harassment and need support to live peacefully and successfully.
Mystics long for intimate connection with God and a revelation of the spiritual world. Pray for them using 1 Corinthians 2:10–13 as inspiration.
A few Kaka’i are already followers of Christ. Pray for them to bring light and truth to this people of truth (John 8:12).