Introduction / History
The Ethur peope, pronounced eh-tour, live in northeastern Uganda, in the Abim District, a dry land with an undulating topography. More recently, they have also spread to urban centers. They are subsistence farmers who sell or exchange products with neighboring tribes. Some are potters and blacksmiths. Many are multilingual.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Ethur view their neighbors with suspicion because of ongoing cattle-raiding. As a minority among other groups, they feel insecure. They have neither an established system of leadership nor a writing system to defend their culture and language. Alcohol abuse and immorality are common problems.
Ancestors of the Ethur people came from Ethiopia and South Sudan. Many community members believe in ancestral spirits; they worship and fear big trees, old trees and mountains, believing they are sacred. About 40 percent adhere to this religion of the elders, which is called Ametho.
A majority of Thur-speaking people identify as Christians. Without God's Word in their language, however, many tend to follow the cultural practices of nonbelievers. Those Ethur who follow Ametho disassociate themselves from Christians and their families. Their beliefs trap them in fear and lead to witchcraft as a source of protection and defense. They resist suggestions for solving problems or disagreements in a Christian way.
Scripture Prayers for the Thur in Uganda.