The Tigre are an ethnic group residing in Eritrea and Sudan. They are a nomadic and pastoralist people, related to the Tigray-Tigrinya people of Eritrea and Ethiopia and to the Beja people of Sudan. The Tigre are a predominantly Muslim nomadic people who inhabit the northern, western, and coastal lowlands of Eritrea (Gash-Barka, Anseba and Northern Red Sea regions of Eritrea), as well as areas in eastern Sudan. 99.5% of the Tigre people adhere to the Islamic religion Sunni Islam, but there are a considerable amount of Christians among them as well (often referred to as the Mensai in Eritrea). The first Tigre converts to Islam were those who lived on islands in the Red Sea and were converted in the seventh century. Mainland Tigre were not converted to Islam until the nineteenth century. They suffered persecution from both the Imperial and the Marxist governments of Ethiopia in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, since they were both nomadic and Muslim.
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