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What is International Day for the Unreached?

May 13, 2024 |  By Rebecca Olsen

International Day for the Unreached

Religious groups have a holiday or special day for everything, and Christianity is no exception. Amongst the many official holidays we celebrate, we also mark other observances, such as International Day of the Unreached (IDU). Keep reading to learn more about this important day, what it means, and how you can get involved.

What Does Unreached Mean?

The definition of the word “unreached” is simple: not yet reached. Within Christianity, “unreached” refers to people groups with very few believers, often 2% or less. These people groups have a specific history and culture and may already have their own religion. They may exist within an established country, inhabit multiple countries, or live nomadically.

No matter where they’re physically located, the same sad fact is true: no one has reached these groups with the Gospel, at least not enough to produce a growing community. In many cases, unreached people groups have never met a Christian, let alone heard the Gospel.

What is IDU, and When Is It?

Alliance for the Unreached, a group of like-minded missions organizations, started International Day of the Unreached (IDU) to help the Western, primarily American, church recognize the great need to share the Gospel with unreached people groups. They scheduled IDU for Pentecost Sunday every year since the first Pentecost started the Gospel spreading around the globe. In 2024, IDU will fall on May 19th.

How Are People Reaching the Unreached Now?

IDU raises awareness for unreached people groups, which is very important. Current statistical estimates lead us to believe that over 2 billion people are still unreached, which is roughly 25% of the world’s entire population. Unfortunately, around 90% of Christian missionaries are serving reached people groups. That means few are reaching the unreached right now.

Thankfully, God inspired and empowered foreign and native missionaries to start reaching unreached people groups with the Gospel, including their own or those nearby. Advancing Native Missions aids many of these missionaries in over 120 countries so they can share the Gospel.

How Can Someone Get Involved?

IDU is a great time to start getting involved with global missions. You can encourage your church to pray and personally pray for unreached people groups on that day, using our free Pray for the Unreached guide.

After IDU, you can continue to raise awareness and pray. Financially, you can donate to organizations such as Alliance for the Unreached and Advancing Native Missions. Organizations like ours, which are held financially accountable, can use your funds to help native missionaries reach the unreached. We can also share communications from the mission field so you know what’s happening with the people groups you’re praying for.

International Day of the Unreached (IDU) is an excellent opportunity to learn about unreached people groups and how you can get involved in global missions. Start with ANM’s free Pray for the Unreached guide and join us in reaching the unreached this May and beyond.

Download Pray for the Unreached guide.