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What Is the 10/40 Window?

Focus on the World's Most Unreached Geographical Region

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10/40 Window

World map highlighting the 10/40 Window.

Cartesia / Getty Images

The 10/40 Window identifies a section of the world map encompassing North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It extends from latitude 10°N to 40°N of the equator.

In and around this rectangular area lives the world's least evangelized, most unreached people groups in terms of Christian missions. The countries in the 10/40 window are either officially closed or informally opposed to Christian ministry within their borders. Citizens have limited knowledge of the gospel, minimal access to Bibles and Christian materials, and extremely restricted opportunities to respond to and follow the Christian faith.

Although the 10/40 Window represents only a third of all global land areas, it is home to almost two-thirds of the world's population. This densely populated region contains the majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and non-religious peoples, and the fewest number of Christ followers and Christian workers.

In addition, the highest concentration of people living in poverty—"the poorest of the poor"— reside within the 10/40 Window.

According to Window International Network, nearly all of the worst countries in the world known for persecution of Christians are positioned in the 10/40 Window. Likewise, child abuse, child prostitution, slavery, and pedophilia are widespread there. And most of the terrorist organizations in the world are headquartered there, too.

Source of the 10/40 Window

The term "10/40 Window" is credited to mission strategist Luis Bush. In the 1990s, Bush worked with a project called AD2000 and Beyond, energizing Christians to refocus their efforts on this largely unreached region. The area was previously referred to by Christian missiologists as "the resistant belt." Today, Bush continues to introduce new world evangelization strategies. Recently, he developed a concept called the 4/14 Window, urging Christians to concentrate on the youth of nations, particularly those ages four to 14.

The Joshua Project

The Joshua Project, an extension of the U.S. Center for World Mission, now heads up the ongoing research and initiatives begun by Bush with AD2000 and Beyond. The Joshua Project seeks to facilitate, support, and coordinate the efforts of missions agencies toward fulfilling the Great Commission by taking the gospel into the least reached areas of the world. As a non-profit, neutral entity, the Joshua Project is dedicated to strategic and comprehensive analysis and sharing of international grassroots mission data.

A Revised 10/40 Window

When the 10/40 Window was first developed, the original list of countries contained only those with 50% or more of their land mass within the 10°N to 40°N latitude rectangle. Later, a revised list added several surrounding countries that have high concentrations of unreached peoples including Indonesia, Malaysia and Kazakhstan. Today, an estimated 4.5 billion people live within the revised 10/40 Window, representing approximately 8,600 different people groups.

Why is the 10/40 Window Important?

Biblical scholarship places the Garden of Eden and the start of civilization with Adam and Eve in the heart of the 10/40 Window. So, naturally, this region is of great interest to Christians. Even more importantly, Jesus said in Matthew 24:14: "And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come." (NLT) With so many peoples and nations yet unreached in the 10/40 Window, the call for God's people to "go and make disciples" there is both unmistakable and critical. A growing number of evangelicals believe, in fact, that the final fulfillment of the Great Commission hinges on a focused and united effort to reach this strategic section of the globe with the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

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