Learn More About UPG’s!
Most people think of the world as broken down into countries - distinct places that have their own boundaries, history, government and leaders, language, monetary exchange, historic or scenic landmarks, and culture, to name a few distinctives. There are 236 of these entities. It is natural and easy to say, "We're sending a mission team to Brazil this summer," or "We support missionaries in India." Most of us can go to a world map and (after a few hazy moments) point to where those countries are! They are evident by their geographic barriers, either natural or man made.
The word "nations" is different though. It comes from the word "ethnos" or "ethne." Its definition generally refers to a specific group of people who share the same culture and language, religious beliefs, etc. These people may be living in the same geographic region, or perhaps they are scattered throughout many countries. So simply put, acountry can have many nations living within it. We call these nations, people groups, and it is estimated that there are about 16,500 people groups in the world today.
When we read scriptures like Revelation 5:9:And they sung a new song, saying "Thou are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (ethne) . . . " or Revelation 7:9: After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations (ethne), and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb . . . these are people groups that the apostle John is actually writing about!
Perhaps these questions (and answers) will help clarify the whole people group concept more clearly. For additional information on Unreached People Groups, contact our GlobalROAR office.
What is an unreached (or least-reached) people group (UPG)?
An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize the group and ensure the continuous multiplication of churches. An unreached people group is considered "unreached" if it is less than 2% evangelical.
How many unreached people groups are there left in the world to reach according to Joshua Project?