Unreached & Unengaged People Groups

What is a people group?

A significantly large grouping of individuals who perceive themselves to have a common affinity with one another. „For evangelization purposes, a people group is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance.“

In many parts of the world lack of understandability serves as the main barrier and it is appropriate to define people groups primarily by language with the possibility of sub-divisions based on dialect or cultural variations.

In other parts of the world, most notably in portions of South Asia, acceptance is a greater barrier than understandability. In these regions, caste, religious tradition, location, common histories and legends, plus language may be used to define the boundaries of each people group.

What is a unreached people group (UPG)?

An unreached or least-reached people group (UPG) is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.

The original Joshua Project editorial committee selected the criteria less than or equal to 2% Evangelical Christian and less than or equal to 5% Professing Christians.

What is an unengaged unreached people group (UUPG)?

An unengaged unreached people group (UUPG) has no known active church planting underway.

According to the IMB Global Research Office: „A people group is engaged when a church planting strategy, consistent with evangelical faith and practice, is under implementation. In this respect, a people group is not engaged when it has been merely adopted, is the object of focused prayer, or is part of an advocacy strategy.“

All unengaged unreached people groups (UUPGs) are by definition unreached people groups (UPGs). All unreached people groups (UPGs) are not necessarily unengage; many are engaged. Put another way, UUPGs are a subset of UPGs.


Please check out these websites for further informations. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you want to know how you can act.

Joshua Project is a very good site about the unfinished task to reach all the unreached people groups.