Unreached People Groups


 

The Persecuted and the Unreached

4 Nations Where the Church is Persecuted, 12 Unreached People Groups, 1 Gospel


In shadowed corners of the world, whispers of faith rise from the persecuted church. Christians in these places face unimaginable hardship and are sustained only by their faith in Jesus. Environments of persecution are some of the most difficult places to reach with the gospel.

This year, we will pray for the persecuted church in four different nations and for 12 of the unreached people groups in those nations who have yet to hear the good news of Jesus.

Pray for God to prepare hearts to hear and receive the gospel and for believers to obey His call to go to them, even in the face of risk.



Winter 2024 | Praying for Colombia


According to opendoors.org, “Christians in rural Colombia are targets for criminal groups and face persecution from their own indigenous communities.” Armed guerrilla groups and gangs see Christians as a threat to their power and stability resulting in persecution. Church leaders are harassed, threatened, and murdered; young Christians and children are recruited, abducted, and forced to work for the gangs; young girls are at risk of a life of sexual abuse – these are all things Christians in Colombia face. In addition to this, indigenous Christians are persecuted by their own communities.
Information from OpenDoors.org

How to Pray:
  • Pray for God’s strength and power for pastors facing constant harassment by criminal groups.
  • Pray for protection for Colombian Christians, especially at-risk youth and children.
  • Pray that new believers from criminal or indigenous backgrounds would inspire others with their courageous faith.
—Prayers taken/adapted from OpenDoors.org

January | Embera-Baudo – 6,700 people | 100% Ethnic Religion, Unknown Evangelical

Inhabiting a region frequented by drug cartels and rebel armies, the Embera-Baudo are very vulnerable to these groups. Rebel armies commonly wreak havoc on these people, raping their women and forcing the young men to be their guides. To escape this violence, the Embera-Baudo have moved to towns and cities, but they are unprepared for 21st century life. They need job training and help with other economic needs.

Joshuaproject.net reports on their spiritual beliefs, “This tribe worships spirits and their religion can best be described as animistic. Animism is the belief that non-human objects have spirits. Fortunately, there is a nearby Embera group that has responded to the gospel. Though there is a language difference, this other group has the opportunity to take Christ to their neighbors.”

Bible translation has been started in their native language and some Bible audio teachings are available.
—Information from JoshuaProject.net

How to Pray:
  • Pray for physical and spiritual protection for the Embera-Baudo people.
  • Pray for Christian workers to go to the Embera-Baudo, share the gospel, and show the love of a God who cares for the needy and oppressed.
  • Pray that the saved from one Embera people group would reach out to other Embera-Baudo peoples with the gospel.
  • Pray that the Bible translation in their language would be completed and would flourish among them.
  • Pray that God would show the Embera-Baudo their need for a Savior; pray that the Holy Spirit would work among them, leading them to Jesus.

February | Kogi – 20,000 people | 98.4% Ethnic Religion, 1.6% Evangelical

The Kogi live much the same as they did before Christopher Columbus arrived. The Kogi create white clothing from plants for nearly everyone in the community. The women make traditional bags that both men and women carry. They live in homes made of stone, mud, and palm leaves and there is also a meeting hut where community decisions are made. Mamas (priests) are very important to these decision-making processes.

They worship Aluna or The Great Mother, described as “the earth who is alive.” Because of this, they consider it their duty to protect nature. Their priests go through strict training: selected male children train in a dark cave for the first nine years of their lives. While there, mamas and the child’s mother care for them until they are ready for their priestly duties.

The Kogi have the New Testament in their language but not the entire Bible.
—Information from JoshuaProject.net

How to Pray:
  • Pray that the Kogi people would come to know and believe that the Almighty God is the One True God and that He is the Creator of all things.
  • Pray that the Kogi would come to believe in Jesus as their High Priest and that they would become priests in God’s kingdom.
  • Pray that Kogi believers would be strengthened, emboldened, and equipped to share the gospel with others.
  • Pray that God would show the Kogi their need for a Savior; pray that the Holy Spirit would work among them, leading them to Jesus.

March | Wiwa – 19,000 people | 97.9% Ethnic Religion, 2.1% Evangelical

The Wiwa people make their home in the southeast valleys of the Colombian Sierra Nevada mountains. Theirs is a truly democratic government where all the men of an area meet every few weeks and spend the night in discussion and voting over issues, with the decisions being carried out by shamans. The white cotton clothes and long hair of the Wiwa men are culturally important, and they become offended if a change in these areas is suggested. The Wiwas are very poor, and malnutrition is a major problem among the children. This, paired with medical care that is usually at least a day’s walk away, probably adds to the child mortality rate. In addition to this, education is uncommon and poor in quality. They also face threat of displacement by violence and settlers taking over their land.

Their beliefs contain a lot of animism and worship of nature. The Ancient Mother is the main deity and is something akin to Mother Earth. The shamans, or Mamos, are highly respected and typically the leaders of the village.

Bible translation has been started in their native language and some Bible audio teachings are available. As far as we know, there are no missionaries working among the Wiwa.
—Information from JoshuaProject.net

How to Pray:
  • Pray that the Bible translation in their language would be completed and would flourish among them.
  • Pray for Christian workers to go to the Wiwa people, working to share the gospel and show the love of a God who cares for people that are needy and unseen by the world.
  • Pray that the Wiwa people would turn to God for provision and help and see Him as their Provider.
  • Pray that the Wiwa people would accept Jesus as their Savior and embrace the new identity He wants to give them both individually and as a community of believers.

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