What is the 10/40 Window?

The 10/40 Window:  

The 10/40 Window is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude. The 10/40 Window is often called "The Resistant Belt" and includes the majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. The original 10/40 Window included only countries with at least 50% of their land mass within 10 and 40 degrees north latitude. The revised 10/40 Window includes several additional countries, such as Indonesia, that are close to 10 or 40 degrees north latitude and have high concentrations of unreached peoples. See the original and revised country lists to the right. An estimated 4.54 billion individuals residing in approximately 8,687 distinct people groups are in the revised 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window is home to some of the largest unreached people groups in the world such as the Shaikh, Yadava, Turks, Moroccan Arabs, Pushtun, Jat and Burmese.

The 10/40 Window has several important considerations: first, the historical and Biblical significance; second, the least evangelized countries; third, the unreached people groups and cities; fourth, the dominance of three religious blocs; fifth, the preponderance of the poor; sixth, the strongholds of Satan within the 10/40 Window.

10/40 Window

The 10/40 Window: Historical and Biblical Significance Top

The first and most fundamental reason why followers of Jesus Christ ought to focus on the 10/40 Window is because of the Biblical and historical significance of this area. The Bible begins with the account of Adam and Eve placed by God in the heart of what is now the 10/40 Window. God's plan, expressed in Genesis 1:26, was that mankind should have dominion over the earth, subduing it fully. However, Adam and Eve sinned against God and forfeited their right to rule. Man's sinful behavior increased until God intervened and judged the earth with a cataclysmic flood. Then came man's futile attempt to establish new dominion in the building of the great Tower of Babel. That effort, which also occurred in the heart of the 10/40 Window, was an open defiance against God. Once again, God reached forth His hand in judgment. The result was the introduction of different languages, the scattering of earth's people, and the formation of nations.

The 10/40 Window: The Least Evangelized Countries

The 10/40 Window is home to the majority of the world's unevangelized countries. The "unevangelized" are people who have a minimal knowledge of the gospel, but have no valid opportunity to respond to it. While it constitutes only one-third of earth's total land area, nearly two-thirds of the world's people reside in the 10/40 Window. The original 10/40 Window included only countries with at least 50% of their land mass within 10 and 40 degrees north latitude. The revised 10/40 Window includes several additional countries, such as Indonesia, that are close to 10 or 40 degrees north latitude and have high concentrations of unreached peoples. See the original and revised country lists to the right. These lists include both sovereign states and non-sovereign dependencies.

The 10/40 Window: The Unreached Peoples and Cities

An estimated 2.77 billion individuals live in approximately 5,994 unreached people groups are in the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window also contains the largest unreached peoples over one million. In addition, the 10/40 Window contains the overwhelming majority of the world's least evangelized megacities -- that is those with a population of more than one million. The top 50 least evangelized megacities are all in the 10/40 Window! That fact alone underscores the need for prioritizing 10/40 Window Great Commission efforts.

The 10/40 Window: The Dominance of Three Religious Blocs Top

The 10/40 Window contains four of the world's dominant religious blocs. The majority of the followers of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism as well as the Non-Religious block live within the 10/40 Window. On the left side or western part of the 10/40 Window, the Muslim world can be seen most prominently in a wide band across the north of Africa into the Middle East. South Asia, in the middle of the 10/40 Window, is the heart of Hinduism with its 330 million gods. Buddhism influences the right side or eastern part of the 10/40 Window. Buddhism is the primary religion in Southeast Asia and although officially an atheistic country since the Marxist revolution of the late 1940s, China is nevertheless deeply influenced by its Buddhist roots.

10/40 Window
Map Source: Global Mapping International

The 10/40 Window: The Preponderance of the Poor Top

The 10/40 Window is home to the majority of the world's poor. Of the poorest of the poor, more than eight out of ten live in the 10/40 Window. On average, they exist on less than a few hundred dollars per person per year. It has been said that "the poor are the lost, and the lost are the poor" as the majority of the unreached live in the poorest countries of the world. There is a remarkable overlap between the poorest countries of the world and those that are least evangelized.

The 10/40 Window: Spiritual Stronghold

The 10/40 Window includes numerous spiritual strongholds. The billions of people who live in the 10/40 Window have suffered not only the ravages of poverty and disease, they have also been kept from the transforming power of the Gospel. They are poignant examples of the truth expressed in 2 Corinthians 4:4, which states that "the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

The 10/40 Window: A Renewed Focus Top

The focus of the Christian missions community 200 years ago was for the coastlands of the world. A century later, the success of the coastlands effort motivated a new generation to reach the interior regions of the continents. Within the past several decades, the success of the inland thrust has led to a major focus on people groups. Today, followers of Christ are concentrating their efforts on the unreached peoples of the world, most of which are in the 10/40 Window.