“10/40 Window” has been part of the Christian lexicon for more than twenty-five years. It’s a handy designation for that part of the earth’s land mass lying between 10 and 40 degrees latitude north of the equator. The 10/40 Window encompasses North and Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and most of Asia.
10/40 Window rolls nicely off the tongue, is intriguing, and is, once the geography’s envisioned, easy to understand. The phrase was coined in 1990 by mission strategist Luis Bush, who first called it a “box” but at his wife’s suggestion changed the name to “window” to emphasize spiritual opportunities in the region.
The 10/40 Window spans over 60 countries and two-thirds of the world’s population—over 4 billion people. These countries, though widely variant in history and culture, share several negative “social indicators,” for example:
- highest number of socioeconomic problems,
- high levels of illiteracy, higher still among women,
- 90% of the poorest people,
- most countries closed or resistant to outside influence,
- highest levels of Christian suppression, oppression, persecution,
- 8,671 people groups, a majority “unreached,” meaning limited to no access to the Christian message.
You can Google more statistics, but you get the picture. The idea of the 10/40 Window was to encourage a Christian outreach strategy to the most spiritually needy regions of the world. To some extent this has happened. Mostly it hasn’t.
Some Good News: SAT-7’s satellite footprint covers the entire Western Half of the 10/40 Window. While Asia and Africa are linguistically fragmented, one advantage for broadcasting in the Middle East and North Africa is that residents typically understand one of three languages: approximately 300 million Arabic, 165 million Turkish, and 70 million Persian (Farsi). SAT-7 broadcasts biblical truth and a Christian worldview in all three languages.
Some 95% of Middle Easterners have access to a television and 60%+ (about 85% in Iraq) can access a satellite dish. So despite the spiritual challenges on the ground, or maybe because of them, spiritual opportunities are still beaming uncensored from the air.
The Western Half of the 10/40 Window is blanketed everyday with the Christian message. And God said, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
What do you think the Apostle Paul, missionary to the Gentiles, would say if he could reach millions via satellite television? No long boat rides or shipwrecks, no snakes, no Roman soldiers to dodge, no interminable hikes, no waiting weeks for your epistle to get there.
I think Paul would pray, “Dear Lord, give me the 10/40 Window.” And then to his taxi-driver, “Get me to the SAT-7 studio. Now.”
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2018
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