What Is the 10/40 Window

What Is the 10/40 Window?

When answering, “What is the 10/40 window?” the most basic definition according to Ends of the Earth Ministries is “a rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude.”[1]

It is important to also remember that this window represents more than a designation on the map. It is home to the beautiful people of this region of the world, many of whom are Muslims and followers of traditional Asian religions.[2] This area is said to be the most closed to the Christian message.

What is the 10/40 window? The history is interesting: In 1989 and 1990, Luis Bush and Pete Holzmann analyzed the region using a box located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator. They called it the 10/40 box. Later, Bush’s wife renamed the box “the 10/40 window” because a window represents an opportunity to see important mission realities more clearly.[3] Prior to Bush and Holzmann’s research, the region was known as the “resistant belt” or the “unoccupied fields.”[4]

The 10/40 window has expanded over the years. Originally, the window comprised only countries with at least 50% of their landmass inside of the window. The revised window includes several countries that are close to the 10 or 40 degrees north latitude. These countries in the 10/40 window that were added have high concentrations of people yet to be reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When studying the 10/40 window statistics, we can learn a lot about the region. “Approximately 5.32 billion individuals residing in 8,882 distinct people groups are in the revised 10/40 Window.”[5] The current window includes 68 countries.

What is the 10/40 window? Inside this window, we find three of the world’s dominant religions—Islam and two traditional Asian religions. Islam prevails in the Middle East and northern Africa, while traditional Asian religions are prevalent in South Asia and near the center of the window. There are also large populations of Atheists and non-religious people inside the window.

The 10/40 window is also home to the majority of the world’s poor. “Of the poorest of the poor, more than eight out of ten live in the 10/40 Window. On average, they exist on less than a few hundred dollars per person per year,” says the Joshua Project.[6]

GFA World is committed to bringing physical and spiritual help to several countries in the 10/40 window. Through local churches and missionaries, GFA is transforming communities through the love of Jesus Christ.

Much of this help comes through national missionaries serving their communities and cultures. These missionaries understand the culture and know the language, and they have a passion and burden to reach their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. These characteristics create a serious advantage for a national missionary over a missionary coming in from another part of the world.

GFA World is active in much of the 10/40 window: Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and other countries.[7]

How does GFA help meet the needs of the people who reside in the 10/40 window? There are many ways, but here are two of the primary ones:

Through life-changing gifts

— When families in poverty are gifted with a cow, a pair of chickens or other livestock, their quality of life can change drastically. Such a gift can lift them out of poverty. For example, chicken eggs can be sold at the market, used to feed their family or hatched to provide ongoing income. GFA supporters have been providing these life-changing gifts to families in the 10/40 window for over a decade.[8]

Through education 

— This is a big factor in breaking the cycle of poverty. Education and new skills create healthy ways to provide for a family. GFA’s Child Sponsorship Program provides ways for kids to stay in school and also offers training for their parents. Through these training classes―in literacy, sewing, welding, farming and so on―parents are equipped with new skills and new ways to provide for their family’s needs. 

These are just two ways GFA makes a big impact in the world of poverty, but perhaps the most beneficial is the care and love of the local missionaries who bring the Good News of Jesus to a hurting world.

The needs are plentiful in the 10/40 window, but the solutions are often very simple. Will you be part of the solution? It may be as simple as providing a life-changing gift to a needy family.

Learn more about the 10/40 window map

[1] “What Is the 10/40 Window?” Ends of the Earth Ministries. Accessed July 27, 2023. https://eote.org/1040window/.
[2] “What is the 10/40 window?” Joshua Project. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://joshuaproject.net/resources/articles/10_40_window.
[3] “What Is the 10/40 Window and Why Is It Important?” Advancing Native Missions. October 30, 2019. https://advancingnativemissions.com/what-is-the-10-40-window-and-why-is-it-important/.
[4] Zwemer, Samuel M. “The Unoccupied Mission Fields of Africa and Asia. New York: Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, page 259. https://missiology.org.uk/pdf/e-books/zwemer/unoccupied-mission-fields_zwemer.pdf.
[5] “What is the 10/40 window?” Joshua Project. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://joshuaproject.net/resources/articles/10_40_window.
[6] Ibid.
[7] “Where We Work.” GFA World. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://www.gfa.org/regions
[8] “Poverty: Public Enemy #1.” GFA Special Report. October 17, 2019. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/poverty-alleviation.