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 third quarter UPG is the Tajik people of Central Asia. Tajiks make up around 27% of the population of Afghanistan, making them the second largest ethnic group after the Pashtuns. They make up the bulk of Afghanistan’s elite, with considerable accumulated wealth within the community. As a result of this wealth and levels of education, they wield a significant political influence within Afghanistan. Being of Central Asian origin they maintain a kinship with the 7 million ethnic Tajiks who live in the neighboring Central Asian state of Tajikistan.
The Tajiks are almost entirely Sunni Muslim. Islam permeates every area of their lives. Rituals relating to birth, puberty, marriage, and death are all built around their beliefs. They faithfully repeat memorized prayers five times a day. In addition to Islamic beliefs, spiritism (beliefs that incorporate use of charms and amulets) is also widespread among the Tajiks.
The Islamic religion is very difficult to influence. Converts to Christianity will more than likely be “banished” from their families. Because of this, the Tajiks – though usually warm and hospitable – are becoming more and more apprehensive towards outsiders.
The Tajiks speak Dari Persian, a language that came from King Darius (mentioned in the book of Daniel). Unfortunately, only about one-tenth of the Tajiks are able to read.
Click here to learn more about how to pray for the Tajik people.
There are 7,037 Unreached People Groups totaling 4.3 billion people.