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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.
January 27, 2023

Country: Western Sahara | Population: 248,000 | Language: Hassaniyya Arabic | Main Religion: Islam | Evangelical: 0.00%

The Sahrawi are North African desert nomads with mixed Berber, Arab, and black African ancestry. This desert people once had a caste-based society with warriors on top and slaves at the bottom. Today’s Sahrawi work as herdsmen, traders, and warriors, but drought, plagues, and warfare have encouraged robbery, fighting, and revenge. Throughout history, the eight Sahrawi tribes often battled for supremacy, but today, their conflict is with non-Sahrawis. Violence has forced many, mainly women and children, to flee to refugee camps, dividing families. Sahrawis consider themselves pure Sunni Muslims, but they also practice some pre-Islamic beliefs. Pray for peace in Western Sahara. Pray that the Sahrawi would see Jesus as the Prince of Peace and that they would run to him for salvation. Pray for ambassadors of Christ to bring the Gospel of Peace. Pray for completion of a Hassaniyya Arabic translation of the Bible.

January 20, 2023

Country: China | Population: 12,000 | Language: Bonan | Main Religion: Islam | Evangelical: 0.00%

The Bonan (“I protect you”) are one of China’s smallest ethnic groups. They are believed to have descended from Mongol imperial troops who settled in China in the 13th century. The Bonan converted to Sunni Islam in 1750 and coexisted with the Buddhist Tongren Bonan until they split in 1862 over religious and economic disputes. They resettled in the mountains to the east, becoming a distinct people group. Most Bonan work as farmers or loggers, but they are famous for making durable, ornate knives with ox horn handles. Traditional clothing is very colorful. Single women typically wear a green veil or hijab, while married women choose black. Men usually wear white skull caps. No Bonan churches, Christians, or Bible translations are known to exist. Pray for bold, loving Christians to heed the call to take the Gospel to the Bonan. Pray that those who answer the call will encounter men and women of peace. Pray that God would reach Bonan university students through Christians who demonstrate Christ’s love.

January 13, 2023

Country: India | Population: 303,000 | Language: Tiwa, Assamese | Main Religion: Hinduism | Evangelical: Unknown

Tiwa means “the people who were lifted from below.” They have lived in northeastern India since at least the 17th century. Rice, meat, fish, and eggs are Tiwa staples, which they season with sesame, mustard, ginger, and chilies. Rice beer is popular, although the educated prefer tea. The Tiwa live in two distinct groups: the Assamese-speaking Plains Tiwa and the Tiwa-speaking Hill Tiwa. The Plains Tiwa cultivate rice and practice a form of Hinduism. The Hill Tiwa are “slash and burn” farmers who practice a tribal religion. Hill Tiwa religious and political life centers around seven old villages, each home to a chief who oversees a network of smaller villages. The Tiwa honor many festivals, including Christmas, but there are very few Christians. Pray for intense spiritual hunger to drive them to Christ. Pray that God reveals Himself as the one true and just Chief who offers them eternal life with Him.

January 6, 2023

Country: Russia | Population: 94,000 | Language: Nogai | Main Religion: Islam | Evangelical: 0.02%

The Nogai are a Mongol-Turkic people that live in and around the Caucasus Mountains and claim descent from Nogai Khan, a general of the Golden Horde and the great-great-grandson of Genghis Khan. These patriarchal people were once nomadic warriors but now live in small villages where they farm and raise livestock. Much like their Mongol ancestors, the Nogai enjoy horse racing, archery, wrestling, and falconry. They are famous for Nogai tea, a hot black tea prepared using boiling milk, butter, salt, and pepper. The Nogai practice Sunni Islam influenced by folk religion. They believe that to be Nogai is to be Muslim. There are only about 20 known Nogai Christians. Pray that God would raise up men and women of peace to listen to the Gospel. Pray that the Nogai would desire to read the New Testament and explore Jesus’ claims. Pray for those who are faithfully translating the Bible into Nogai.

See more Weekly Featured Unreached People Groups:  Alphabetical List or By Date