Eritrean Tigre in Norway

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Invisible and unnoticed, lurking quietly in Norway, there is a group of people that is almost unknown to the rest of the world. They are Tigre, refugees from the small nation of Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. The Tigre were traditionally nomadic shepherds who lived mainly in Eritrea and northeastern Sudan. Descendants of the ancient Egyptians, they are generally tall with narrow noses and brown skin.

Eritrea has one of the worst records for human rights worldwide. Tigre who practice "unregistered" religion are arrested by the Eritrean government. Those who attempt to flee Eritrea receive the same fate. What they flee includes extrajudicial executions, torture, indefinitely prolonged national service, and forced labor. In addition, there are accounts of sexual abuse by government officials. As a result, those who are able will flee to Norway and other safer countries to save their lives and their future.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In Europe, Eritrean Tigre tend to be politically oriented, voicing the need for change in their home country. But they are hounded by agents of the Eritrean government who have even worked their way into becoming interpreters during sensitive conversations between the refugees and one European government. Facing persecution even outside their borders, it is no wonder that Tigre refugees keep themselves out of sight.

Tigre society is patrilineal, which means that the line of descent is traced through the males. Marriages are arranged by the parents. Some of the people now adhere to Islamic customs, while others continue to follow traditional customs. Members of a tribe usually follow the same set of rites and customs.

The largest Muslim group is the Tigre, the only Eritrean or Ethiopian Semitic people which is not Orthodox.
What Are Their Beliefs?

Although the Tigre profess to be Sunni Muslims, most of them practice folk Islam, which is a blend of Islam and ethnic beliefs. Their traditional beliefs include animal sacrifices and rain making rituals. Sacrifices of livestock or corn are offered whenever they think their sins are numerous. They believe that the sacrifice becomes the scapegoat for their sins. The Tigre also believe in an evil spirit named Zar, who possesses people and causes accidents, illnesses and sometimes death. The people depend on shamans (priests) to cure the sick, communicate with the spirits, and control events. The shamans also exorcise demons and perform services by entering into a trance.

What Are Their Needs?

Only a few Tigre have allowed Jesus to truly be Lord of their lives. Prayer is the key to reaching this people for Christ's Kingdom.

Prayer Points

Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Tigre Eritreans in the Netherlands.
Pray for the Tigre Eritreans to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Tigre Eritreans to change their society from within.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers disciples to make more disciples.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Tigre Eritrean communities.

Scripture Prayers for the Tigre, Eritrean in Norway.

Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Tigre, Eritrean
People Name in Country Tigre, Eritrean
Natural Name Eritrean Tigre
Pronunciation air-ih-TRAY-un ti-GRAY
Alternate Names Beni Amer; Eritrean; Khasa; Tigre Xasa; Xasa
Population this Country 31,000
Population all Countries 1,030,000
Total Countries 8
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 15482
ROP3 Code 110051
ROP25 Code 308158
ROP25 Name Tigre
Country Norway
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Norway
Region Europe, Western
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.05 %)
0.40 %
Ethnic Religions
5.00 %
0.00 %
89.60 %
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Tigre (31,000 speakers)
Language Code tig   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tigre (31,000 speakers)
Language Code tig   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tigre

Primary Language:  Tigre

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1889-1981)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1902-1931)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1988)
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
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tigre Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Rod Waddington - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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