"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come". Matthew 24:4
Frequently unasked questions:
♦ What is a People Group?: "For evangelization purposes, a people group is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance" (Joshua Project Source: 1982 Lausanne Committee Chicago meeting.) According to the Joshua Project there are 17423 people groups to be found all over the world and in every nook and cranny.
♦ What is an Unreached People Group?: An unreached people group, as defined by the Joshua Project, is “a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance”. For the sake of not repeating it all the time lets refer to these groups as UPG's, as many people tend to do.
♦ Where do we find the majority of UPG's? Ever heard of Louis Bush and the 10/40 window? Joshua Project's 10/40 window page is a great source of information. " Approximately 5.11 billion individuals residing in 8,948 distinct people groups are in the revised 10/40 Window. 6,220 (69.5%) of these people groups are considered unreached and have a population of 3.09 billion. This means approximately 61% of the individuals in the 10/40 Window live in an unreached people group. "
♦ What is an Ethno-Lunguistic Group: An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is a group that is unified by both a common ethnicity and language. Most ethnic groups have their own language. (Ok this doesn't help us much. It sounds very much like a people group).
♦ How many Unreached People Groups are there? According to the Joshua Project counter there were 7410 UPG,s in April 2020. That is 42,5% of all people groups. Most probably these will be the hardest to reach for many reasons as we will see later.
♦ How many languages are there in the world? According to Ethonoloque, a good source for this kind of information, there are 7117 languages spoken today.
♦ In how many different languages has the Bible been translated into? For this kind of information Wycliffe is the obvious source. According to them the full Bible is now available in 698 different languages, giving 5.6 billion people access to Scripture in the language they understand best. The New Testament is available in another 1,548 languages, reaching another 786 million people. Adding those numbers and it brings us close to 6,4 billion people that have access to the whole, or portions of the Bible. Selections and stories are available in a further 1,138 other languages, spoken by 470 million people." As Wycliffe than rightly mentions there are currently 3,969 languages with no Scripture. 171 million people, speaking 2,115 languages, still need translation work to begin.
So where does this leaves us?
► Is unlikely that any more people groups will be defined as research work has been thorough.
► The Number of languages are considerably less than the number of peoples groups that indicates that language alone is not the only parameter for defining a people group and that there are many other variables one need to take into account.
► Close to 6,4 Billion people have acces to the Bible, or portions thereof. But that does not mean that they indeed have it in their possession, or even know about it, or that it brings the good news.
► There must be an awful lot of people on earth speaking the same languages. Compare it with the number of people groups and there must be an awful lot of people speaking very unique languages. That must be the 171 million people speaking the 2115 languages. And maybe that is the main reason why it will be hard to reach every one.
► 2020 Prayer Guide: Pray for the Unreached
" TECHNOLOGY HABAKKUK 2:2–3, 2 TIMOTHY 4:2 We will leverage, to the best of our ability, God’s gift of technology to reveal His eternal wisdom to those who have never heard the name of Jesus."
► International Day of Prayer for the Unreached 31 May 2020
"In response to Jesus’ Great Commission to take the gospel to every nation, you can make a difference in the eternal destiny of souls who are today unreached with the love of Christ. This Great Commission Action Guide will show you how. Engage in one or more of the four ways to get involved. Make your life count for those who have never heard."
► The Great Commission Action Guide
" In response to Jesus’ Great Commission to take the gospel to every nation, you can make a difference in the eternal destiny of souls who are today unreached with the love of Christ. This Great Commission Action Guide will show you how. Engage in one or more of the four ways to get involved. Make your life count for those who have never heard."