This year we will be strategically praying for four unreached people groups in the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude. The 10/40 Window is often called “The Resistant Belt” and includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.
Approximately 5.22 billion individuals residing in 8,875 distinct people groups are situated in the 10/40 Window. 6,164 (69.5%) of these people groups are considered unreached and have reached a population of 3.16 billion. This means approximately 61% of the individuals in the 10/40 Window live in an unreached people group (UPG). The 10/40 Window is home to some of the largest unreached people groups in the world such as the Shaikh, Yadava, Turks, Moroccan Arabs, Pashtun, Jat, and Burmese.
Our second UPG this year is from Western India in the 10/40 Window. The Mahratta People of India are estimated to have a population of 27,860,000—almost the same population as the entire state of Texas. The Mahratta are almost entirely Hindu (0.00% are Christians according to JoshuaProject.net). Therefore, almost without exception, to be Mahratta is to be Hindu. Despite gospel workers being present with them and Bible translations available in their primary languages, this people group remains unreached.
Many Mahratta live in relatively rural and agricultural areas across western India. Like many Hindus, they worship a pantheon of gods, with some being elevated above others depending on family, region, or other factors. Additionally, in many parts of India, to convert to Christianity brings persecution and exclusion from community. For the Mahratta, the cost to follow Jesus is higher than many of us can understand. Our prayer is that the resolve of those working to share the good news of Jesus would be strengthened and that God would call many from this people group to put their faith in Jesus alone.
Coby, Bailey, and Naomi Neal have been a part of our Lockeland Springs family for several years and are being sent out to engage the unreached refugee population in Birmingham, England. They will also minister to university students, young professionals, and families who live around them. Pray for this time of transition for their family, safe travels, and provision for funding and housing. Pray for strong relationships with ministry partners and for God to prepare the hearts of people they will encounter.
A people group is defined as an ethno-linguistic group with a common self-identity that is shared by the various members. For strategic purposes it is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance.
A people group is considered unreached (UPG) when there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to engage this people group with church planting. Technically speaking, the percentage of evangelical Christians in this people group is less than 2 percent. South Asia has the largest unreached people group population with 1.5 billion people who have little to no access to the gospel. Of the 11,741 people groups in the world (7.4 billion people), 7,024 are unreached (4.3 billion people).
Unreached people groups are unengaged (UUPG) when there is no church planting strategy, consistent with evangelical faith and practice, under way. Gathering believers and planting churches are the keys to establishing an effective and multiplying presence among these people groups. There are approximately 220 million people worldwide who are unreached and unengaged.
Please join us as we pray for unreached people groups each month. Pray that God will raise up laborers to take the gospel to these parts of the world. Pray for the truth of Christ to overcome the darkness.