Tigre, Eritrean in Netherlands

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People Name: Tigre, Eritrean
Country: Netherlands
10/40 Window: No
Population: 3,400
World Population: 1,030,300
Primary Language: Tigre
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.09 %
Evangelicals: 0.05 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Ethio-Semitic
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Invisible and unnoticed, lurking quietly in the Netherlands, there is a group of people that is nearly unseen by 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 flee to Europe 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. 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 of the European governments. Facing persecution even outside their borders, it is no wonder that the 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.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Are the Tigre Muslim or Christian? Many of them are part of an ancient form of Orthodox Christianity where church services are held in Geez, a language that few understand. Others are Sunni Muslims; so the answer would be both!

What Are Their Needs?

Only a relative few Tigre have allowed Jesus to truly be Lord of their lives. Prayer is the key to reaching their hearts 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.

Text Source:   Keith Carey