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More than 3 billion people worldwide are unreached with the gospel. While unreached people can be found in all corners of the globe, the vast majority are concentrated in one area.

Billions of people without access to the gospel live in what is known as the 10/40 Window. Situated between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude, this region stretches across North Africa, the Middle East, and South and East Asia.

Because more than 90% of the world’s unreached population lives in the 10/40 Window, this region has become a major focal point for those working to fulfill the Great Commission.

The Origins of the 10/40 Window

The term “10/40 Window” was coined in 1990 by Luis Bush, a missions strategist and CEO of Partners International, as he was looking for a way to describe a region of the world with significant poverty and low quality of life, combined with a lack of access to Christian resources and a high number of unreached peoples.

After Ralph Winters first used the term “unreached people groups” in 1974, Bush built on Winters’ presentation to urge churches and mission agencies to focus their efforts on the 10/40 Window.

The Demographics of the 10/40 Window

The 10/40 Window contains some of the world’s poorest, with a majority of the population being illiterate and without regular access to the internet. While many unreached people groups live in developed and populous areas across the globe, a large number of these groups live within the borders of developing nations, where they reside in rural areas far from other people. This lack of access to the internet and other resources contributes to the large unreached population in this region.

The 10/40 Window is also home to the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. The region also has a significant atheist and agnostic population. More than 3.2 billion people in this area are unreached, and the largest unreached people groups live in this region.

Because of the predominance of non-Christian religions in this region, the 10/40 Window is known to have some of the highest levels of Christian persecution in the world. North Korea, for example, has topped the World Watch List as the country with the worst Christian persecution for many years. Throughout the 10/40 Window, those who choose to follow Jesus can face harassment or death. Pressure from the government or the community makes it difficult for individuals in this region to accept the gospel.

The Gospel in the 10/40 Window

Despite the cultural, developmental, and geographical barriers that make the spread of the gospel challenging, God is still on the move in the 10/40 Window. Incredible stories of Muslims seeing Jesus in dreams, Hindus who used to persecute Christians becoming evangelists, and more have come out of this region.

But there is still more work to be done. By some estimates, less than 4% of Christian missionaries deploy to the 10/40 Window. In order to complete the task of reaching all nations with the gospel, more laborers are needed in the harvest.

Therefore, pray for the Lord to send more gospel workers and for the work currently being done in the 10/40 Window, give to individuals and organizations doing Great Commission work there, and consider going yourself to take the gospel to the most unreached places. Imagine how the gospel could spread if the global Church worked together to reach the 10/40 Window.

“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.” -Psalm 86:9