• Why Least-reached

    Why Least-reached

    "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
    - Jesus' words in Matthew 28:19-20

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    Why Least-reached

    "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
    - Jesus' words in Matthew 28:19-20

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    With your help we are able to train leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples.

A Third of Our World

Date: 13/05/24

Category: Engagement General

Tags: disciples Evangelism gospel Jesus Least-reached people groups Prayer

ONE THIRD of our world has not yet heard the Good News of Jesus.

Can you imagine that? What would your life be like if you had never heard? Then consider how many more people do not yet know Jesus. They are “unreached” or “least-reached people.”

What do we mean by “least-reached people”?

Global Disciples works with a definition of least-reached as a people group where 5% or fewer are professing Christians. And that’s a small percentage to be able to effectively evangelize, disciple, and plant new churches through an entire people group. That’s why we focus on equipping near-culture workers: disciples of Jesus in or within reach of a group, and who share the same or similar culture to those in need of the Gospel.

How many people are least-reached?

Roughly one-third of the world’s population is considered least-reached.

Mission researchers have identified at least 4,289 least-reached groups1 or 41.6% of the world’s people groups. The largest unreached people group are the Shaikh—almost 234 million people living in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The second largest are the Japanese at close to 121 million people. 

Where are they?

  • At least 50% of the world’s least-reached or unreached people live in India and China.
  • Afghanistan has the highest percentage of unreached people (81.9%) in the world.
  • India has the greatest number of unreached people (567 million) in the world.
  • In 40 countries, at least half the population (50%) has never heard the Gospel.
  • In 19 countries, less than 1% are Christians.
  • Of those who are least-reached, 55% live in areas that restrict Christian witness.

How can I pray for least-reached people?

Prayer is essential to the mission of reaching least-reached people with the Good News of Jesus. Here are a few ways you can participate through prayer.

1. Ask God to make Himself known to those without the Good News, whether it’s through to visions, dreams, and miracles, or through His people. Praise Him for doing the impossible!

2. Pray for open doors; ask the Lord to nurture connections and relationships between individuals or groups that will give access to least-reached people. 

3. Ask God to give courage, protection, anointing, and maturity to disciples of Jesus among a least-reached people, that they speak the Gospel boldly, show compassion, and walk worthy of Christ.

4. Pray for more near-culture workers to gain access, build relationships, and share the Good News of Jesus, even when it’s hard, dangerous, or discouraging.

5. Pray for churches in close proximity to increase their vision for reaching the least-reached, and pray for leaders and trainers to equip their people to go as workers.

6. Pray for salvation and a heart change for those who oppose the Gospel, especially religious and political authorities at the national, regional, or community levels.

7.  Ask the Lord to give you a heart for least-reached people around you, those who have come here from other places, or those who don’t yet know Jesus loves them.

You may also want to pray for a specific least-reached people or region. For profiles, data, and more on praying for the least-reached, we recommend:

athirdofus.com

operationworld.org

joshuaproject.com  

A Day for the Unreached

The International Day for the Unreached is Sunday, May 19, 2024. To prepare you and to bring further awareness to the reaching the least-reached, you’ll want to register for Gateway to the Unreached! This is a free, 3-day Webcast Event on May 14, 15 and 16 starting at 7:30 Eastern. You can join people from across the globe for compelling 25-minute sessions from ministry leaders. Three sessions each evening will take you inside efforts to reach unreached people groups across the globe. Register here.

The Gateway to the Unreached webcast is hosted by the Alliance for the Unreached, of which Global Disciples is a member.

1 Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo, eds. World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2019).

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