Maybe you found yourself sitting in a small group meeting when you first heard someone casually mention the "10/40 window." And even though you didn't know what she was talking about, everyone else seemed to recognize the term, so you were too embarrassed to ask what it meant.
The term "10/40 window" was first used in 1990 by Christian missionary strategist, Luis Bush. It represents a rectangular area on a globe between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude. It encompasses North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It's estimated that nearly two-thirds of the world's population lives within this narrow window—including 90 percent of the poorest people in the world.
Unreached and unevangelized people groups
When talking about the 10/40 window, it's helpful to understand the difference between "unevangelized" and the "unreached."
A majority of the countries within the 10/40 window are unevangelized, have a limited understanding of the gospel, and have very few opportunities to respond to what they do know. On top of those with little exposure to the good news, this section of the world includes nearly 6,000 unreached people groups—totaling more than 3.05 billion people.
The United States is full of "unevangelized" individuals. These are people who may not have encountered the gospel message, but they do have access to it. They might drive by churches or have access to Christian websites. What they often need are local Christians (or missionaries) who can expose them to the message and give them an opportunity to respond.
"Unreached" people, on the other hand, haven't heard the gospel because their access to the gospel is extremely limited. This means that for them to hear the gospel, someone needs to cross these cultural and linguistic barriers intentionally.
The 10/40 window represents the world's largest concentration of both groups.
The "JESUS" film has been dubbed into more than 1,700 languages and has resulted in more than 570 million indicated decisions for Christ. But there are more than 865 documented language groups in the world with 50,000 or more speakers, representing roughly 323 million people—many of whom live within the 10/40 window.
The Jesus Film Project® is committed to reaching these groups with the story of Jesus in their own language. Mission 865 is an initiative dedicated to that commitment. Along the way, the "JESUS" film will be shared with smaller language groups, too.