News from our organization

Arab world dominates unreached ranking 2022

News from our organization

Arab world dominates unreached ranking 2022

News from our organization

Arab world dominates unreached ranking 2022

GlobalRize has released the new unreached ranking. It lists the sixteen countries* where less than one percent of the population is Christian. In most of these countries, Islam is predominant, many of the countries are Arab and often countries face major internal problems.

The two countries with the lowest percentage of Christians are Afghanistan and Somalia, where only 0.02% of the population is Christian. Almost all countries on the list are Islamic. The only exception is North Korea, in 10th place. Together, these countries have more than 600 million inhabitants. About a quarter of these people speak Arabic, a quarter Bengali, a quarter Turkish or Farsi, and a quarter speak a minor language.

Within the countries on the unreached list, it is the Christians who, because of their faith, have it even more difficult than the rest of the population. All countries in the top 5 of the Open Doors Christian Persecution Ranking also feature in GlobalRize’s Unreached Ranking: Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

Ranglijst onbereikten GlobalRize Iran
Locals only

The list is dominated by the Arab world: eight of the sixteen countries on the list are Arab. This shows how predominant Islam is in the Arab world. In all these countries there has been a large Christian presence. In the course of history it has been pushed further and further back. That process is still ongoing. For example, Iraq is now on the list with a population of 0.4% Christian. That was still 1.6% in 2010.

There would be even more Arab countries on the list if only the local population were looked at. In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, there is a fairly high percentage of residents who are Christians due to large numbers of foreigners living there permanently. At the same time, the Arab population is almost without exception Muslim. In recent years, there are more and more house churches in the Arab world where Christians who have come to faith from a Muslim background also come. But the numbers are still so small that they barely affect the total percentage of Christians in the Arab world.

Countries with problems

What is striking about the list of unreached countries is that it contains many countries with major problems. This is very clear with the top 3 of the list. Afghanistan has returned to a Taliban regime in the past year. There are more than two million Afghan refugees, and more than three million Afghans who have fled their own homes within the country. Somalia is notorious as a country that has had no effective government for a long time, leaving the country in a state of lawlessness. And in Yemen, a civil war has been going on for years, which has so far cost almost 400,000 deaths.

The Gospel for Unreached Lands

When there are so few Christians in a country, and they can hardly hold church services, it ensures that the vast majority of the population does not even have the choice to become Christian. Eighteen Dutch organizations have formed the coalition #NoChoice to draw attention to this. They are committed to sharing the gospel with the unreached. For example, Frontiers, Pioneers and WEC send workers to countries on the unreached list. And GlobalRize, Jesus.net and TWR use media and the internet to bring the gospel to people who are otherwise difficult or impossible to reach.

 

 

* The ranking is limited to countries with more than one million inhabitants

In 2021, GlobalRize released the first least reached ranking. That ranking was based on absolute numbers of unreached people. India ranked first on this list. This year, the least reached will be looked at from a different angle, based on the percentage of Christians per country. In a five-year cycle, attention will be drawn in a different way each time to countries and peoples where the fewest people have been reached with the gospel. This was chosen, among other things, because there are no new reliable data every year about the numbers of Christians per country and population group. GlobalRize is involved in various countries in setting up national databases that map unreached areas as well as possible.

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