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Pray for Unreached People Groups

Pray for Unreached People Groups

When Jesus commanded His followers to “make disciples of all nations” in Matthew 28:19, He was not referring to political nations. The word Jesus used for nations in Greek is “ethne,” from which we get the English word “ethnic.” Jesus commanded us to make disciples from every ethnic people group. In Matthew 24:14, He said, "And this Gospel will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Until we accomplish this, the task is unfinished.

Reach Beyond is committed to helping the global Church to make disciples among unreached people groups (UPGs). These are cultures and locations where Jesus Christ is largely unknown, and the church is relatively insufficient to make Him known in its broader population without outside help.  

According to Joshua Project, there are still 7,000 UPGs, making up over 40 percent of the world’s population. The map below shows where the unreached are primarily located, but we also know we have the opportunity to reach displaced people groups in our own countries.

We want unreached people everywhere to hear about Jesus, see Him in action and learn how to follow Him. Because of our strengths in media, Reach Beyond has prayerfully decided to prioritize the 1900 largest unreached people groups of 100,000 or more in population.

Map of Unreached People Groups

Weekly UPG Prayer Focus

Join us in praying for an unreached people group each week.
Yao, Muslim
February 27, 2021

Country: Malawi | Population: 2,000,000 | Language: Yao | Main Religion: Islam | Evangelical: 0.5%
The Yao trace their history to the area surrounding Yao mountain in Northern Mozambique. Famine and tribal conflicts in the 1800s caused many Yao to flee. Most Yao are now found in Malawi and live as subsistence farmers and fisherman. The Gospel was brought to Malawi in the mid-1800s by the likes of David Livingston and other missionaries who were instrumental in Britain ending slavery. However, contact with Swahili-Arab slave traders led to the majority of the Yao converting to Islam between 1870 and 1920. Muslim Yao have insulated themselves from their Christian Yao neighbors by maintaining their unified language, cultural and religious differences including learning Arabic. Pray for those who are trying to share the Good News with Muslim background Yao. Pray that they would accept the Bible as Holy Scriptures and God’s Word to them. Pray that they would recognize Jesus as being their Savior and find their hope in Him.
February 20, 2021

Country: Indonesia | Population: 6,600,000 | Language: Minang | Main Religion: Islam | Evangelical: 0.01%
The Minangkabau or Minang are the fourth largest ethnic group in Indonesia and have a great deal of influence. They come from West Summatra and their name literally means “winning water buffalo.” The Minang outsmarted their Javanese neighbors in an ancient war that was eventually decided by a battle between two water buffalo. They are famous for their cuisine and they run restaurants all throughout the country. The Minang are orthodox Muslims, and those who leave Islam are disowned by family and will lose their jobs. Pray for those believers who are actively trying to share the Gospel with the Minang. Pray that God would open the hearts of the Minang so that they would follow Jesus who has won and triumphed over sin and death.
Uzbek, Northern
February 13, 2021

Country: Uzbekistan | Population: 25,000,000 | Language: Uzbek, Northern | Main Religion: Islam | Evangelical: 0.01%
The Uzbeks were traditionally semi-nomadic shepherds who roamed Central Asia. However, most today farm or work in larger towns and cities. Uzbeks are primarily Sunni Muslims but are not generally considered Orthodox as they have mingled many traditional beliefs into their Islamic practices. Uzbek believers are highly persecuted and threatened with arrests and fines since no religious activities outside of state-run and state-controlled institution are allowed. Pray that God would soften hearts and attitudes towards believers. Pray that the fruits of the Spirit would be so evident in believers’ lives that others would want to know more about Jesus and learn how to follow Him.
Qashqa’i (Kashkai)
February 6, 2021

Country: Iran | Population: 967,000 | Language: Qashqai Turk | Main Religion: Islam | Evangelical: 0.00%
The Qashqa’i are a nomadic people who left Central Asia in the 11th Century and today roam the harsh deserts of southwest Iran. They are probably best known for their expert weaving skills. They are a highly independent and proud minority people group who have resisted forceful attempts to be incorporated into mainstream Iranian society. Qashqai Turk is a spoken language that does not yet exist in written form. However, most Qashqa’i are able to communicate in Farsi. While virtually all Qashqa’i profess to be Muslims, in reality very few observe Muslim traditions outside of marriage and death. The Qashqa’i live in a constant state of political unrest. Pray that Qashqa’i would have opportunities to hear the Gospel. Pray that their desire for inner peace would open their hearts to hearing about Jesus and that they would choose to follow Him.
See more Weekly Featured Unreached People Groups:  Alphabetical List or By Date