The Window 10/40
Most of the world's people unreached by the gospel of Jesus Christ live in a region extending south-north from ten degrees north to forty degrees north latitude, and west-east from West Africa to East Asia.
This area, earlier called the Resistant Belt by Christian leaders, is now often called the 10/40 Window, where most of the world's Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists—billions of spiritually starving people—live.
If we truly commit to giving people a chance to experience Jesus Christ in Spirit and in truth, we must focus on people who have not heard yet. We must consider the: (1) area's biblical and historical significance; (2) degree to which its people still have not heard the good news; (3) way its religions dominate the people; (4) extreme poverty of most of the area's people; (5) completely unreached eth-nolinguistic groups; (6) least evangelized huge cities; (7) strongholds of Satan.
First, let us remember that God placed Adam and Even in this area's heart, saying that man should subdue the earth, but man disobeyed and fell by believing Satan's lies, which now dominate the 10/40 Window. Noah's ark rested here, and later man built Babel's Tower to defy God and again fell into Satan's snare, since the resulting multiple languages scattered the people to different locations to form various nations, all of which made evangelism much harder than it would have been without these barriers. Then God chose one man, again from this region, to show truth in his generation and through whose descendants and ultimately in Christ Jesus He would reach out to save the world.
Through Abraham's life in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Canaan, and through Israel's fortunes changing up and down as the people turned to or from God, we see God's hand and hear His voice through the prophets. In this area Jesus Christ lived, spoke, died, rose, and spoke again. Here the church was born and began her growth.
Unfortunately, most of this part of the world's people not only have not heard the gospel but also have not had a way to respond to it—no Bibles, for example. Two-thirds of the world's people—whom God loves, and whom we have been told to reach—live here. Of the world's fifty least evangelized nations, thirty-seven are in the 10/40 Window of the uttermost part of the earth.
Looking at a map west to east across the 10/40 Window makes the heavily oppressive religious blocks clear enough. The Muslim world stretches across North Africa and the Middle East; the Hindu heartland across South Asia, including India; and the Buddhist center is East Asia, including China. From the 10/40 Window, Islam aggressively expands over the earth. Let us proclaim at least as powerfully that the highest prophet is Jesus Christ, also the Son of God who died and rose to save millions of Muslims.
In India, fattened cows roam the streets among hungry humans because spiritual blindness hits India even harder than do poverty and disease. India needs light and a true and living Way.
China chose Marxism for its form of government, but Buddhism still influences most of its 1.2 billion people, and animism and the occult still rule in some subgroups. They need Jesus.
Of the poorest of the world's poor people, over 80%—2.4 billion—live in the 10/40 Window. Only 8% of the world's missionaries work among them, even though most of the world's unreached live in the world's poorest nations. Besides, the gospel is good news for the poor (Luke 4:18; 6:20; 7:22). The law, the prophets, the wisdom books, and Jesus' teaching and ministry all repeat God's love for the poor and our consequent duty to defend and care for them.
The 10/40 Window contains 90% of all the large ethnolinguistic people groups. Also, this part of the world contains ALL of the fifty least evangelized large cities (cities of over one million in population). Finally, Satan's strongholds have been many and very strong here, keeping people from hearing the gospel (II Corinthians 4:4). The places of dominant satanic strength, according to the Sentinel Group, are Bhutan, India, Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
So what can we do? Plenty. First, we can pray. Although we live in the world, we do not fight as the world fights. Rather, we have divine power to demolish strongholds. (See II Corinthians 10:3-4.) Let us not surrender to Satan one person. Daniel exemplifies our approach: he prayed, was highly esteemed by God and by his contemporaries. He fasted on bread and water for three weeks until a majestic angel appeared as lightning bringing Daniel's prayer's answer (Daniel 10:12) and to tell Daniel that the demon assigned to the Persian king had detained the angel for twenty-one days until the archangel Michael arrived to help. Only then could the angel go to Daniel. This shows how Satan fights for territory.
Demonic forces stand at the center of the unreached world, as represented in the Bible by the prince of Persia (Iran) and the spirit of Babylon (Iraq). We must penetrate this world, bringing good news back to Eden, to complete the great commission and the knowledge of truly subduing the earth in God's way.
Of course Satan will resist defeat, but we can and must depend on the armor God gives us (Ephesians 6).
Missions two hundred years ago started on the coastlands of the world. A century later, missionaries pushed for the interiors. In the past few decades, missions have focused on people groups, and more recently we have emphasized large cities. Today, we must concentrate on the 10/40 Window. This does not mean curtailing Christ's work elsewhere in evangelism, church planting, training, relief, and development, but if we obey the Scriptures to reach all the world and do not waver in our commitment that every person hear the gospel, we must know that, since the 10/40 Window contains most of the people who have not heard of Jesus yet, it is our window of opportunity. People on the other side of all the obstacles hunger for Jesus Christ. We must innovate to reach billions, and mobilize massive prayer. May we commit every resource in energy, attention, ability, time, life, money, courage, and wisdom to tell the world about Jesus before He returns.
What to do? First, please in your local church establish a task force of people committed to pray for world evangelism. Assign responsibilities within the task force, including communication within church leadership, promotion, leadership of prayer groups.
the poorest of the world's poor people, over 80%—
2.4 billion—live in the
10/40 Window. Only 8% of the world's missionaries work
Second, please select an unreached people,
a less evangelized city and nation from the 10/40 Window. Commit to pray for
their hearing the good news. Get information about these people, cities, and
nations from library resources, from encyclopedias, from your newspapers,
and by writing their embassies. Assign task forces to each people, city, and
Third, please consult church leaders to set goals from the present to the year 2000 (or, if that is too soon, 2001 or 2002) and, based on God's Word and your local realities, set goals for what you expect God to do in and through your church, locally and globally, by that date.
Fourth, organize a local church seminar to prepare for this. Coordinate a month of prayer and fasting to pray for spiritual breakthroughs, the Holy Spirit's outpouring, and the lordship of Jesus Christ to be established in every people, city, and country in the 10/40 Window. If you can afford it, send a team to one of the countries, cities, or peoples to pray on-site.
Last, choose a special month of prayer and fasting: in India, August 1998 might be good because by then the monsoon is everywhere and the monsoon makes some other forms of work, such as travel, more difficult. During the chosen month, have predawn meetings at the church, organize prayer in your city, and join several other churches for a united prayer march in your city on Saturday, August 1 and Saturday, August 22,1998.
May God bless our efforts. He , wants a whole new spiritual outpouring breaking through to new people. S.S.