Did You Know?
Southeast Asia consists of eleven different countries with a population of over 630 million people. In Southeast Asia, you will find over 1,800 different people groups and 39% of them are considered “unreached people groups.”
According to Joshua Project, over 50% of the people who live in Southeast Asia would be considered “unreached peoples.” Compare that with less than 3 percent of the total population of North and South America considered “unreached People.”
Other than the Philippines, Southeast Asia is overflowing with “unreached,” and in many cases, “unengaged” people groups who need for someone to answer the Great Commission’s call to “GO.”
Included in Southeast Asia are three countries where Pacific Baptist Church has sent teams as a part of Pastor Joe’s dream to reach the “unreached” of Southeast Asia. The countries include Cambodia, Thailand and the country of Laos.
For the past six years we have had teams sent out of Pacific Baptist Church in Long Beach to Cambodia (6 years), Thailand (5 years), and Laos (5 years). All three of these teams are experiencing the blessings of God. People are being saved, baptized, lives are being changed, and churches have been planted. As far as Southeast Asia is concerned, Pastor Joe wasn’t satisfied, first with Cambodia, and then Thailand and Laos. He dreamed of sending teams, especially those trained in Southeast Asia, into other countries of Southeast Asia, especially into the countries of Vietnam and Myanmar.
Why Southeast Asia?
A legitimate question and one worth pondering. Of course, Southeast Asia is located in the 10/40 Window. In the 10/40 Window you have the neediest people in the world, both spiritually and physically. And in Southeast Asia you find some of the neediest of the needy.
Let’s talk about the countries of Southeast Asia for a few moments. There are eleven countries found in Southeast Asia with a total population of over 630 million people. Over 325 million of those people are considered “unreached people groups.” That would be 51 percent of the population. There are over 700 different “unreached people groups” found in Southeast Asia, and many of these are not only “unreached,” but “unengaged.” When we say “unengaged,” we are referring to people who have absolutely no one trying to reach them.
If you were to take the Philippines and East Timor out of the Southeast Asia equation, the numbers would be daunting. Let’s just consider six of the countries found in Southeast Asia and their “unreached” populations, as well as their Evangelical Christian population.
Country Population UNR. Population % EV. Christian
Indonesia 254 million 161 million (64%) 3.8%
Thailand 67 million 66 million (99%) 0.5%
Myanmar 54 million 45 million (84%) 5.0%
Malaysia 30 million 16 million (52%) 3.3%
Cambodia 16 million 15 million (99%) 1.6%
Laos 7 million 6 million (82%) 2.3%
Totals 428 million 309 million (72%) Less than 4%
If we compare the above numbers to the United States of America, it is absolutely shameful. As bad as America has drifted from her Judeo-Christian moorings over the past few decades, still 77 percent of the population claims to be “Christian” and 27 percent of them consider themselves to be “Evangelical Christians.”
According to the book Beyond Megachurch Myths, there were 320,000 Christian churches in America in 2007. (Some have claimed the number of “Christian” churches in America exceeds 450,000.) Of these U.S. churches, 1,250 were megachurches with an average weekend attendance of 2,000 or more. Add to this, Christian radio, Christian television, Christian bookstores, and the such, compared to Southeast Asia, the United States of America has it “made in the shade.”
The amount of manpower and money going to the nations for the sake of the Gospel, compared to the great need, is embarrassing at best!