Praying for Unreached People Groups
February 21, 2017
A people group is defined as an ethno-linguistic group with a common self-identity that is shared by the various members. For strategic purposes it is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance.
A people group is considered unreached (UPG) when there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to engage this people group with church planting. Technically speaking, the percentage of evangelical Christians in this people group is less than 2 percent. South Asia has the largest unreached people group population with 1.5 billion people who have little to no access to the gospel. Of the 11,741 people groups in the world (7.4 billion people), 7,024 are unreached (4.3 billion people).
Unreached people groups are unengaged (UUPG) when there is no church planting strategy, consistent with evangelical faith and practice, under way. Gathering believers and planting churches are the keys to establishing an effective and multiplying presence among these people groups. There are approximately 220 million people worldwide who are unreached and unengaged.
Please join us as we pray for unreached people groups each month. Pray that God will raise up laborers to take the gospel to these parts of the world. Pray for the truth of Christ to overcome the darkness.
August 2018: Rohingya of Bangladesh
Widespread persecution and ethnic cleansing has broken out in Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims over the past year. Most Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh, which has limited resources and land to host refugees. More than 950,000 people are refugees in the country, many unregistered, according to estimates from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The World Health Organization projects the birth of sixty thousand babies in Bangladesh’s crowded camps in 2018. Meanwhile, the risk of disease outbreak in camps is high, with health organizations warning of possible outbreaks of measles, tetanus, diphtheria, and acute jaundice syndrome. Moreover, more than 60 percent of the available water supply in refugee camps is contaminated, increasing the risk of spread of communicable and water-borne diseases. Vulnerable refugees have turned to smugglers, paying for transport out of Bangladesh and Myanmar and risking exploitation, including sexual enslavement. In November 2017, Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a deal for the possible repatriation of hundreds of thousands of refugees, though details remain vague; on the rights that would be granted to the Rohingya, locations for resettlement, and assurances that pogroms would not recur. The repatriation of Rohingya, first slated for January 2018, has been delayed. (Information from the Council for Foreign Relations, cfr.org)
There are no known Christians among the Rohingya people. Pray for Christian aid workers to be able to share the gospel in this very desparate situation, and for God to raise up believers among the people.
For more information on how to pray, click here.