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What is the 10/40 Window?

10/40 Window

The 10/40 Window is a geographical region believed to contain the highest concentration of unsaved, unreached people on the planet. This rectangular cross-section of the world map delineates the territories of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia roughly between latitude 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator.

The predominant religions of the densely populated 10/40 Window are Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. In addition, many animist tribal groups, atheists, and Jews live in this part of the world. Evangelical Christian strategists and researchers believe the 10/40 Window is home to the world’s most profound spiritual and physical needs yet has the lowest percentage of Christian workers and receives fewer Christian resources than anywhere else in the world. Many countries within the 10/40 Window have officially closed their borders to Christian missionaries. The vast majority have no access to the Bible, the gospel, or other Christian literature.

Mission strategists Luis and Doris Bush conceived the name “10/40 Window” in 1990. At the time, the couple was working on a project called AD2000 and Beyond, which aimed to refocus Christian evangelism efforts in this area of the globe because of its almost non-existent access to Christian resources and the gospel message. The 1990s data suggested that two thirds of the world’s population lived in the 10/40 Window. The Bushes saw this territory as a massive window of opportunity for people to hear the gospel for the first time. Before then, the region was known as “the resistant belt” in Christian missiology. Later, Bush developed the “4/14 Window” concept, a global evangelism strategy concentrating on children aged 4 to 14. By focusing on this younger group, the initiative hopes to awaken a generation of Christians who will impact the future of these nations and thereby change the world.

The original list of 54 countries in the 10/40 Window has since been expanded to include several additional countries with high concentrations of unreached people groups. According to the Christian research initiative known as Joshua Project, today “approximately 5.32 billion individuals residing in 8,882 distinct people groups are in the revised 10/40 Window” (, accessed 8/7/23). This means that more than 60 percent of the people residing in the 10/40 Window are considered part of an unreached people group. Some of the world’s largest, least evangelized people groups are the Shaikh, Yadava, Turks, Moroccan Arabs, Pashtun, Jat, and Burmese.

There’s no question that the 10/40 Window is a spiritually dark domain. Joshua Project reports this area as home to most of the world’s poor. According to Window International Network, a 10/40 Window nonprofit outreach, child abuse, child prostitution, trafficking, slavery, and pedophilia all run rampant there. The Open Doors World Watch List clearly illustrates the most extreme levels of Christian persecution in the 10/40 Window (, accessed 8/7/23), with many of the world’s terrorist organizations based there.

With thousands of people groups that have not yet heard the gospel and billions of unsaved individuals, the 10/40 Window presents an enormous challenge to believers. Jesus called His followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18–20). The word translated as “nations” here means “people groups” in the original Greek. The same word appears in Matthew 24:14 when Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” The term occurs again in the book of Revelation, describing an innumerable multitude “from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne” worshipping God in heaven (Revelation 7:9). As disciples of Jesus, we must continue sharing the love of Christ with all people and taking His message of salvation into every part of the world, including the 10/40 Window.

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This page last updated: August 24, 2023