Tibetan in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

Tibet is known at "rooftop of the world." It is a mountainous landed located in southwestern China, 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. The Dalai Lama currently resides in Dharamsada, India and exercises his rule over Tibet as a government in exile.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Tibet is now one of China's "autonomous" regions, meaning it is a province of China controlled by a strong central government. The Tibetans are primarily concentrated in the northern portion of India where they continue to dream about the independent nation that once belonged to them. They speak Central Tibetan as their first tongue, but most also speak a local language like Hindi. Most of India's Tibetans are either farmers or nomadic shepherds. The farmers grow crops such as potatoes, wheat, barley, buckwheat, and vegetables. Farmers raise a wide variety of fruits in the short summers of the valleys of the Himalayan Mountains. Apricots are a staple fruit, and they even eat the pits. Butter tea is their favorite drink. The Tibetans in India live either in village clusters or in single family dwellings. The nomadic Tibetans live in tents and travel with their herds. They raise sheep, cattle, goats, and dzo (a cross between a yak and a cow). Dairy products and wool are important cash commodities. They are used for trading during the annual grain-trading expeditions or in various other distant markets. Not all Tibetans are farmers or shepherds. Some are lamas (monks) who live in monasteries and spend their time in prayer and meditation. Tibetans may also become artists and teachers, focusing mainly on religious arts and literature. Still others are private landowners or craftsmen. Traditional Tibetan skills include processing wool, grinding flour, working with metal, painting, and carpentry. Though these Tibetan emigrants are surrounded by Indian culture and traditions, Tibetan schools have been set up for their children to preserve their traditional culture and language. In India these Tibetans observe Buddhist ceremonies and holidays. Tibetan society is very "open" in nature. For example, polygamy and polyandry (one woman having multiple husbands) are common practices. Marriage is usually viewed as a non-religious joining of two families. Astrology and shamanistic practices play an important role in helping a young person to choose a mate. Tibetan women are responsible for rearing the children and preparing food. They are also allowed to take on responsibilities such as trade or agriculture if they wish. Tibetan women are not restricted merely to household duties.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Buddhism has been practiced in Tibet for hundreds of years, and many consider it their own religion. Buddhism is a major world religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha. He lived in the 6th and 5th century BC in ancient India. The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths by which one can gain spiritual knowledge and escape the endless cycles of reincarnation. This is what Tibetans believe in theory, but in practice, they follow bon, a form of shamanism which is a central part of their lives. They also practice animism, a belief in the spirit world. In animism, evil spirits must be appeased through prayers, sacrifices and rituals. Two of the important Buddhist yearly holidays are Vesak, the Buddha's birthday celebrated in May or June and Bodhi Day, the holiday which commemorates the day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in December.


What Are Their Needs?

The Tibetans people in India must come to know that true peace, joy and forgiveness can only be found through knowing Christ. Teams of believers can bring the benefits of modern medicine and demonstrate the love of Christ to the Tibetans living in exile.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Tibetan in India.

Pray that God will move Indian Christians to reach out to their Tibetan neighbors. Ask God to encourage, protect and empower the tiny number of Tibetan believers to extend God’s Kingdom in North India. Pray that Christian radio broadcasts will be made available in all Tibetan languages. Ask the Lord to raise up strong fellowships of believers among the Tibetan groups.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

The Waiting World - The Tibetan
Source:  The Waiting World      Download

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-05-25
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-09-07
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-09-04
People Name General Tibetan
People Name in Country Tibetan
Pronunciation ti-BEH-ten
Population this Country 116,000
Population all Countries 1,130,000
Total Countries 10
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
Alternate Names Bhokha; Bhote; Dalai; Dbus; Dbustsang; Lhasa; Lhasa Tibetan; Llasa; Phoke; Pohbetian; Tebilian; Tibate; Tseku; U; Wei; Weizang; Zang; टिबेटन
People ID 15468
ROP3 Code 110033
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 21
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Karnataka
65,000
West Bengal
14,000
Uttarakhand
12,000
Himachal Pradesh
9,300
Delhi
8,800
Maharashtra
3,000
Uttar Pradesh
1,600
Assam
700
Chhattisgarh
400
Chandigarh
400
Bihar
300
Meghalaya
200
Tamil Nadu
100
Nagaland
100
Madhya Pradesh
100
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 21  (only 20 largest shown)
  Karnataka 65,000
  West Bengal 14,000
  Uttarakhand 12,000
  Himachal Pradesh 9,300
  Delhi 8,800
  Maharashtra 3,000
  Uttar Pradesh 1,600
  Assam 700
  Chhattisgarh 400
  Chandigarh 400
  Bihar 300
  Meghalaya 200
  Tamil Nadu 100
  Nagaland 100
  Madhya Pradesh 100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Tibetan, Central (98,000 speakers)
Language Code bod   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 5
Secondary Languages
Sikkimese
1,200
Kinnauri, Bhoti
200
Dogri
30
Ladakhi
20
Primary Language Tibetan, Central (98,000 speakers)
Language Code bod   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 5
Secondary Languages
  Sikkimese 1,200
  Kinnauri, Bhoti 200
  Dogri 30
  Ladakhi 20
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
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Good News for You
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tibetan, Central
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Phim
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video The Hope Video
General Gospel resources links
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store
Mobile App Download audio Bible app from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Tibetan, Central
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
99.60 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.28 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.12 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source szyj351 - Pixabay  Creative Commons 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Video Source The Waiting World
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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