Usually, at the end of each year, I take the last two weeks of the year as a combination of holiday and sabbatical/reflective time. I’m back in the office now. Usually I start the year with a review of the latest Status of Global Mission, but this year, I want to boil it down to what I am loosely calling “The Big 5.”
I don’t want to minimize the state of any particular population that lacks a Christian community. The unevangelized souls in Astara, Azerbaijan are just as lost as those anywhere else. Neither do I want to minimize the calling of people: you should obey God rather than men, and definitely rather than me.
At the same time, I feel it incumbent to point out the largest pool of non-Christians in the world: the (roughly) 625 million non-Christians found in the following five states:
- Uttar Pradesh, India
- Maharashtra, India
- Punjab, Pakistan
- Bihar, India
- Guangdong, China
Not only are these provinces “low-% Christian” areas, they are also heavily “unevangelized”: which simply means that they are devoid of the resources needed for people to have a chance of hearing the Gospel in their lifetime.
I know there are significant efforts in some of these provinces: one, in particular, has significant Christward movements already. But these still represent a very small percentage of the overall population.
625 million is more than 10% of the world’s non-Christians, and somewhere around a quarter of the world’s “unevangelized.” This makes these five provinces worthy of significant strategic focus. Change any one of these provinces, and world Christianity and world mission will be forever altered. But the cost of doing so will likely be very high.