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Unreached People Groups: Crisis of the Lost

Unreached People Groups: Crisis of the Lost

Have you ever marveled at society’s advancement? We don’t have to wait for the evening news to know what’s going on in the world. Instead, Twitter can stream live updates of any event. With this immediate access to information, can you believe there are still 3.11 billion people who have not heard the Gospel? These individuals are called “unreached people groups.”

An unreached people group is where 2% or less of the population are Evangelical Christians.

Unreached people groups consist of:

  • Nearly 7,000 cultures
  • Over 3 billion people
  • More than 40% of the world’s population

Most unreached people live within the 10/40 Window. This area defines a geographical box that stretches from West Africa through Asia. Nearly 5 billion people live in this area, with 3.02 billion (40%) considered unreached.

How have so many people not heard the Good News?

So many people have yet to hear the Gospel because of three, primary things:

  • Too few missionaries
  • Not enough funding
  • Lack of Scripture translations

Missionaries in Unreached Areas

To date, 5.5 million believers around the world have dedicated their lives to become full-time missionaries. How sweet are the feet of those who preach the Good News wherever they go (Isaiah 52:7)! Of these mission-minded evangelists, only 0.37% minister to unreached people groups. In other words, this leaves one missionary for every 216,300 unreached individuals.

Ministering to the unreached comes with an astronomical amount of risk, as to why so few missionaries minister to the unreached. These areas often close-off from the Gospel or act with hostile toward believers. Reports say that more Christians are martyred for their faith today than any other time in history. 

Want to encourage your persecuted brothers and sisters? Consider joining Voice of the Martyrs in their mission to write encouraging letters to believers all over the world who are imprisoned for their faith.

Not Enough Funding

For money directly donated for foreign missions work, less than 1% supports missionaries in areas with unreached people groups.

If you want to give directly to foreign missions, contact your home church. See if your church already supports international ministries. Perhaps you can directly support their work through your church or sign up for a newsletter to receive progress updates on their ministry.

Few Scripture Translations

With nearly 7,000 languages across the globe, only 675 have access to a complete Bible. Over 1,500 languages still need a Bible translation. This leaves 1.5 billion people without access to complete Scriptures in their first language.

Here you can check out more complete data of Bible translation statuses from the Joshua Project.

Which countries have the most unreached people?

Global Christianity lists these countries as having the greatest populations of unreached people:

  • China is predominantly atheist with a significant Communist influence. 
  • Japan is open to Christian ministry, yet socio-cultural differences make this difficult in the Buddhist nation. 
  • India is predominantly Hindu with few resources for local, theological training.   
  • Indonesia is mainly Muslim with erratic, spiritual warfare from occult practices. 
  • Pakistan, driven by a violent militia, actively persecutes Christians. 
  • Bangladesh is mostly Muslim, sorely underdeveloped, and rampantly poor.
  • Iran is predominantly Muslim with scattered Christians in underground churches. 

For more information about the political and religious state of each country, check out Operation World: the definitive prayer guide to every nation. 

When Jesus gave the Great Commission to preach the Gospel throughout the whole earth, He meant it–especially to those who have yet to hear it.

How can we, as a church, minister to the unreached?

**Disclaimer: Most statistical data was taken from the Traveling Team. Thanks to their dedicated research, we can provide this information to you! If you want to support their vision, you can make an online donation to their ministries here.

AUTHOR: Skylar Johnson

Skylar loves to write. She’s cruised the Caribbean, sailed the Mediterranean, and toured the United States. Disney inspires her, and she dreams of living in the mountains.

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