Tibetan in France

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Written records of Tibetan history have survived from the seventh century AD, but it is known that nomadic tribes roamed Tibet as early as the second century BC. The cradle of Tibetan civilization is the Yarlung Valley area, about 80 kilometers (49 mi.) southeast of Lhasa. There, according to tradition, the union of a monkey and a she-devil created the Tibetan peoples. Around AD 600 the warrior-king of Yarlung, Namri Gampo, unified the clans of Tibet. He acquired a princess from Nepal and another one from China to be his wives. Under the persuasion of these two women, he combined the ancient shamanistic Tibetan religion of bon with Buddhist teachings.
Although the Tibetans strongly maintain they are one people and are opposed to any attempts to classify them as separate groups, the Tibetan nationality clearly divides into numerous linguistic components. Central Tibetan—which contains five dialects—is more commonly known as central Bus (transliterated from U, the spoken version of the same word). Educated people from other areas of Tibet traditionally retained their local variety and learned the literary variety of Central Tibetan.
Tibet is a mountainous land located just north of India. In 1950, the Chinese communists invaded Tibet. However, the Dalai Lama (religious and political ruler of Tibet) was permitted to remain their leader. While negotiations were being made between Tibetan and Chinese officials, Communist Chinese Party continued to oppress the Tibetans. In 1959, a revolt broke out in Lhasa, Tibet's capital. During the night, the Dalai Lama set out on a dangerous journey to India. His family, along with some cabinet members, personal officials, and bodyguards, fled with him. Thousands of Tibetans followed their leader and today, over 100,000 of them remain exiled in northern India.
From India, those who are given the chance move to European countries like Belgium, Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. English speaking countries like the US, Canada and Australia have taken in Tibetans.

What Are Their Lives Like?

There are at least nine Tibetan organizations in Europe. They meet yearly and make statements about their commitment to Tibetan sovereignty. Periodically one hears about Tibetans protesting Tibet's treatment in various parts of Europe. The best the European governments can do is issue statements to the Chinese government and take in more Tibetan refugees. In some European countries, there are Tibetan studies programs in universities.
Tibetans in Europe strive to keep their culture and religion alive with the younger generation. For that reason, they established a youth organization. It was founded in 1970. Students learn the language, culture and religion of Tibet.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tibetan Buddhist religion is the lifeblood of the Tibetan people and their culture. Buddhism was mixed with the powerful Tibetan religion of Bon, which is a mixture of magic, divination, demon worship, and sacrifices. The patron saint of Tibet is Chenrezig, whose image has up to 11 heads and from 2 to 1,000 arms.
Tibet has long been one of the greatest challenges for Christianity. In 1892 Hudson Taylor said, "To make converts in Tibet is similar to going into a cave and trying to rob a lioness of her cubs." Timothy, the Nestorian patriarch in Baghdad (778-820), referred to Christians in Tibet and indicated he was willing to assign a missionary to them. There is very little if anything left of this effort. Tibetans in Tibet are trying their best to maintain their culture and religion, so "foreign" ideas like the gospel are strongly resisted.
In France, Tibetans have the freedom to hear and respond to the gospel. There will be much opposition to evangelists by those who think that "conversion to Christianity" is a cruel way to deprive Tibetans of their culture. We know of no Tibetans in France who have put their faith in Jesus Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

Tibetans the world over need to put their identity and their hope in Jesus Christ. This will be especially difficult given that Christ challenges all cultures and individuals to change. It will be hard for Tibetans in exile to give us aspects of their culture (i.e., religion) when their culture is in danger of annihilation.
Tibetans need to hear the gospel of Christ which gives life to the full. It will take a certain kind of worker, one who is willing to endure intense hostility from the Tibetans and from the local people. Others will need to faithfully pray for these workers to stand firm. Eventually Christ will be known and embraced by Tibetans.

Prayer Points

Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Tibetan communities in France.
Pray for the Tibetan people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Tibetan people to change their society from within.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers disciples to make more disciples.

Scripture Prayers for the Tibetan in France.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Tibetan
People Name in Country Tibetan
Pronunciation ti-BEH-ten
Alternate Names Bhokha; Bhote; Dalai; Dbus; Dbustsang; Lhasa; Lhasa Tibetan; Llasa; Phoke; Pohbetian; Tebilian; Tibate; Tseku; U; Wei; Weizang; Zang; टिबेटन
Population this Country 7,900
Population all Countries 1,135,000
Total Countries 14
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 15468
ROP3 Code 110033
Country France
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country France
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Tibetan, Central (7,900 speakers)
Language Code BOD   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tibetan, Central (7,900 speakers)
Language Code BOD   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tibetan, Central

Primary Language:  Tibetan, Central

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1862-1991)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1885-1973)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1948-1983)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tibetan, Central Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text, audio, video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text, audio, video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Tibetan, Central YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Tibetan, Central YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Photo Source szyj351 - Pixabay 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.