The 10/40 Window = a term used to describe those regions of the eastern hemisphere located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator. This general area was named the 10/40 Window in 1990 by Luis Bush, because it represented the highest level of socioeconomic challenges and least access to the gospel on the planet. This band of countries include Northern Africa as well as almost all of Asia (West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and much of Southeast Asia). Roughly two-thirds of the world’s population lives in this window. The people in the 10/40 Window are predominantly Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Jewish or Atheist and most governments are formally or informally opposed to Christian work within their borders. This area is significant when we look at making disciples of all nations. Following is a spotlight on one city in the 10/40 Window:
Recent estimates suggest there are over 75 million evangelical followers of Christ in China. This is an amazing development considering that there were only 2.7 million evangelicals in China in 1975 (Operation World). However, much of that growth has taken place along the eastern seaboard in places like Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. What most people do not realize is that Western China is still very much unreached and for the most part without a significant Christian presence.
Perhaps, the most influential city for the whole of Western China is Chengdu. Chengdu, which literally means “land of abundance,” has a city proper population of 4.3 million and a metro population of greater than 11 million. It was recently named China’s 4th “most livable city” by China Daily Newspaper. Chengdu is an ancient city that is most known for being the birthplace of paper currency. It is the capital of the Sichuan province in Western China.
There are a wide variety of religions practiced in Chengdu and throughout the Sichuan province. Buddhist and Animistic beliefs heavily influence the majority of the people in this area. In fact, Sichuan has the lowest Christian percentage of all the Han-majority provinces in all of China. The stark reality is that there are literally millions and millions of people in Chengdu and throughout the Sichuan province with little to no access to the gospel. Though the church does exist, there are many people without a Christian witness or access to the gospel. Pray for God to use Chengdu as a gateway city to see the gospel spread throughout Western China.
- Forbes magazine recently named Chengdu one of the “fastest growing cities in the world.”
- Chengdu is the 5th most populated city in China.
- 80% of the world’s Panda Bears are found in the Sichuan Province.
- Chengdu is home to a large number of teahouses. One saying goes, “In Chengdu…sunny days are rare, but teahouses are abundant.”
- The native language in Chengdu is Sichuanese, otherwise referred to as the Sichuan dialect or more precisely, the “Chengdu Dialect.”
- There are an estimated 130,000 believers out of a population of 11 million people in Chengdu (Operation World).
- There are large people groups in and around Chengdu with no gospel witness.
- Pray for the Han Chinese believers to catch a vision to reach out to the unreached groups around them.
- There is a great need for Bible translation. Most minority groups in the area do not have the scriptures in their own language.
- The dominant religion in Chengdu is Buddhism. Pray for the gospel to penetrate into the hearts of those walking in darkness.