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Tibetan in India

Tibetan

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Tibetan in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
130,000 Tibetan, Central Buddhism 0.12 % Unknown Not available   

Tibetan in India

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Introduction / History
Tibet is a mountainous region located in southwestern China, just north of India. In 1950, the Chinese invaded Tibet, which was in a weakened military state at that time. However, the Dalai Lama (religious leader and Emperor of Tibet) was permitted to remain their leader. While negotiations were being made between Tibetan and Chinese officials, Communist Chinese troops continued to oppress the Tibetans. Soon rage and resentment began to grow within the hearts of the Tibetans.

In 1959, a revolt broke out in Lhasa, Tibet's capital. An attack came from the Chinese camp outside the city, and warnings to protect the Dalai Lama were issued. During the night, the Dalai Lama dressed as a Tibetan soldier and 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 and the surrounding countries. The Dalai Lama currently lives in Dharamsada, India and exercises his rule over them.

What are their lives like?
Though Tibet is now one of China's autonomous regions, the Tibetans of India continue to dream about the country that once belonged to them. They are primarily concentrated in the northern and eastern portions of India.

Tibetans are a Mongoloid people. Many of them are named according to their geographic location in India. Each group speaks a dialect of Tibetan, which is part of the Tibetan-Burmese branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family.

Most of India's Tibetans are either peasant farmers or nomadic shepherds. The farmers grow such crops as barley, buckwheat, and vegetables. Farmers raise a wide variety of fruits and aApricots are a staple fruit with even the pits innards being eaten. Butter tea is a primary staple of the Balti people.

They live either in village clusters or in single dwellings. The nomads 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 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, particularly those living in northern India, have become rulers and nobles. Others are lamas (monks) who live in monasteries and spend their time in prayer and meditation. They may also become doctors, focusing mainly on religious arts and literature. Still others are private landowners or craftsmen. Traditional Tibetan skills include processing wool and fiber, 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 in an attempt to preserve their native culture. Traditional Tibetan ceremonies are also still observed.

Tibetan society is very "open" in nature. For example, polygamy and polyandry (having multiple husbands) are common practices. Marriage is usually viewed as a non-religious joining of two households. Astrology and cosmology play an important part in helping someone 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, and are not restricted merely to household duties.

What are their beliefs?
Three groups of the Tibetans in India still practice their form of Buddhism, called Lamaism. Lamaism was practiced in Tibet for hundreds of years, and many consider it their native religion. Within this sect, the priests are called "lamas." These three groups (the Groma, the Lahuli, and the Lhasa Tibetans) live in close proximity to the Dalai Lama. Two groups (the Balti and the Burig) are located in northwestern India and have adopted Islam, the dominant religion of that area. Two of the groups (the Ladakhi and the Kanauri) practice a mixture of religions. Beliefs of the Ladakhi consist of Lamaism and Islam, while the Ladakhi religion is a mixture of Lamaism, Hinduism, and various ethnic religions. The three remaining groups (the Adi, the Adi-Galo, and the Rabha) are ethnic religionists.

Buddhism teaches that right thinking, ritual sacrifices, and self-denial enable the soul to reach nirvana (a state of eternal bliss or "enlightenment" at death). They believe in reincarnation (re-birth) after death in another life form, either human or animal. The law of karma states that every action in the present life influences how the soul will be born in the next life. Many of the groups practice "sky-burial." The exposed body is placed in a tree, where it will eventually wither away. They believe that its "karmic seeds" will remain, enter another body, and then begin a new life cycle.

With Lamaism, worldly attachments are considered to be the root of suffering. Many try to rid themselves of these attachments by disciplining their minds through meditation. They believe that if one meditates on peace, he will eventually reach nirvana.

What are their needs?
These precious people must know that true peace can only be found through knowing Christ.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the exiled Tibetans.
* Ask God to encourage and protect the small number Tibetan Christians.
* Pray that Christian broadcasts will be made available to all of the Tibetan groups.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Pray that God will raise up loving Indian Christians to reach out to their Tibetan neighbors.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Tibetan groups.

View Tibetan in all countries.

Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-05-25
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-09-07
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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank:15 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:130,000
Largest States:
Karnataka (62,000)West Bengal (26,000)
Delhi (14,000)Uttarakhand (11,000)
Himachal Pradesh (7,400)Maharashtra (2,400)
Arunachal Pradesh (2,200)Uttar Pradesh (2,000)
Assam (600)Chhattisgarh (400)
Total States on file:23
   
 
Maps
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Tibetan
People Name General: Tibetan
Alternate People Names:
BhokhaBhote
DalaiDbus
DbustsangLhasa
Lhasa TibetanLlasa
PhokePohbetian
TebilianTibate
TsekuU
WeiWeizang
ROP3 Code: 110033
Joshua Project People ID: 15468
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 130,000
Population all Countries: 1,075,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster: Tibetan
People Name General: Tibetan
Ethnic Code: MSY50r
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Tibetan, Central (122,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bod    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Tibetan, Khams (2,100)Sikkimese (1,200)
Dogri (60)Ladakhi (40)
Kinnauri, Bhoti (20)
Total Languages: 6
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism99.88 % 
Christianity0.12 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1862-1991
New Testament:
1885-1973
Complete Bible: 1948
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsFathers Love Letter
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoCreation to Christ (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoGood News for You (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Tibetan, Central
Film / VideoPhim (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit LinkingGlobalVoices.org for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
 
Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Tibetan in India

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Tibetan     South Asia    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Tibetan India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tibetan in India          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Tibetan, Central  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.unreachedresources.org/people-profile.php?peo3=15468&rog3=IN