This year we will be strategically praying for four unreached people groups in 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.
Approximately 5.22 billion individuals residing in 8,875 distinct people groups are in the 10/40 Window. 6,164 (69.5%) of these people groups are considered unreached and have a population of 3.16 billion. This means approximately 61% of the individuals in the 10/40 Window live in an unreached people group (UPG). 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, Pashtun, Jat, and Burmese.*
Our fourth-quarter unreached people group is the Tujia people of China. “Tujia” means “original inhabitants,” and they are one of China’s officially recognized nationalities. The Tujia are almost ethnically indistinguishable from the Han Chinese. Of the almost 10 million Tujia people, only 170,000 are able to speak their native dialect because all students are taught in Mandarin Chinese after third grade.
Tujia communities have priests called Timo, who act as intermediaries between people and gods. The Timo carry the history, legends, and ancient rites and have the job of exorcising spirits and curing illnesses. The Tujia evoke the spirits of Fuxi and Nuwa, who were the first human beings according to Chinese legend. The ceremony includes supernatural feats such as climbing ladders of sharp knives and walking on hot coals or glass. Christian missionaries first entered Tujia areas with the gospel near the end of the nineteenth century and established a small number of churches, schools, and medical clinics among the Tujia. Today it is estimated that there are between 13,000 and 30,000 Tujia Christians, a tiny proportion for such a large group.