I had always thought that the world was vast, but now I have come to understand that it is just a global village, in all its vastness containing over six billion people. Suffice to say that more than 3,2 billion people live in the 10/40 windows countries.
Luis Bush, a frontline Missionary, Scholar and teacher was the architect of the vocabulary – “10/40 window countries”. He successfully shows that the core unreached nations/peoples which also ranked among the highest in the Persecution Index lived between latitude 100N and 400N of the Equator. Indeed the core of the unreached people of our world live in a rectangular shaped window! It has often been referred to as the “Resistant belt” that extends from West Africa across Asia.
Ancient history has been worked out in the territory marked by the 10/40 window, from the cradle of civilization in Mesopotamia to the Fertile Crescent of Egypt. Ancient empires did come and go. The fate of the Jew (God’s people) rose and fell depending on their obedience to the covenant with their God. Christ was born here, lived his life, died and rose again in this same place. Indeed, it took the second missionary journey of Paul, God’s Apostles at the end of biblical record for event of divine history to occur outside of the territory defined as the 10/40 window.
Now, the fact is most of the unevangelized people of the worlds live in this region. It is approximately one-third of the total land area having half of the world’s people and there are about 31 countries both sovereign dependencies in which these people live. Four religious bloc occupy the 10/40 window nations – there is the Moslem block with 724 million people, the Hindu with 787 million, the Buddhist with 240 million and the non-religious with 642 million people. It is noteworthy that nearly eight out of ten of the poorest of the poor who on the average have a gross product of under $500 per person live in the 10/40 window. Despite this, all 22% of all missionaries work among these people and only a meagre 1,25% of income and expenses on mission activities go into 10/40 window countries. The reason for the so little impact of foreign mission in the 10/40 window nations is that the government of these nations have banned or restricted them. Also, local citizens who become Christian may be threatened, harassed, beaten, jailed and even executed in some places.
Of the 22 countries that have severe persecution of Christians (ranking highest in the Persecution Index) according to “Open Doors international Persecution’ list, 15 are here and another 4 are adjacent (Uzbekistan, North Korea, Maldives and Somalia). Only 3 nations of severe persecution are outside the window (Cuba, Columbia and the Comoros Islands). In spite of all these persecutions, we should not be deterred from doing the Master’s will, even as he says, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all manner of evil against you because great is your reward in heaven. For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matt5:11-12.
What must be done is the question that every believer must ask.
- We must pray – Jesus said, “Pray ye the Lord of harvest that he would send labourers into the field.” There is need for all manner of prayer, intercession and supplications to be made on behalf of these nations.
- We must seek our place of involvement. We cannot do it all alone. Each person should take the place assigned to him or her by the Holy Spirit. Professionals are in a vantage position due to high demand in such nations
Let take advantage of our opportunities; every professional highly skilled and efficient is advantaged to be in charge of these endless possibilities. As the modern era of missions enters its last phase, we need to concentrate on the 10/40 window. This calls for re-evaluation of our priorities. It underscores the need for finding ways to reach the people with the compassion and the truth of Jesus Christ. We must consider redeployment of missionaries; re-examination of the use of our financial resources. We must significantly increase our efforts in this decade to reach those who are in the 10/40 window. We must be faithful to the scripture and obedient to the mandate of Christ, knowing full well that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Ejughemre Ufuoma J
National Missions Secretary 2006.