Then shall the end come.
According to Christ THE key sign of his imminent return and that the end of the world was near was that recorded in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” This sign taken alongside his clear command to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18) and the fulfilment (Revelation 7:9) show that every people group MUST have a group of disciples before the judgment day. The fact that kindreds are mentioned suggests an even smaller group than that of a ”nation” which is a people group (TA ETHNE) NOT a political country.
How are we to know where the church stands in this great commission? There appears to be a general misconception among many Reformed people that the job is nearly, if not done! Here is a recent quote from a Reformed pastor, “But, at the same time, most of humanity has heard the gospel. Only about four percent of the world’s population do not have the gospel and the Scriptures in their language today. Jesus has this in mind when He speaks of the gospel going to the ends of the earth—that after His departure and before His return the gospel would go to all nations.”
Just because 96% of the world’s people have written Scriptures surely does NOT mean the gospel has gone to the ends of the earth. What if a large percentage of these folk cannot read and there are no true churches in their vicinity as is the case in many of the unreached peoples e.g. in India? Then they are not reached!
According to the best sources, Joshua Project website and the book Operation World there are 9813 distinct people groups who are socially cohesive, of the same race, language and culture, but who may reside in adjoining political countries. Out of a total world population of 7.3 billion, 4051 of these groups, numbering 3 billion and comprising 42% of the total, are unreached. They may have written scriptures but how many can read them and because their total Christian (evangelical) population is less than 2% the church is incapable of reaching all their people who historically have never been exposed to the gospel.
The Joshua Project are also aware that many formerly reached peoples are now nominal e.g. many in the West and many were reached by false Christianity where syncretism reigns e.g. Mexico and Central America; these would also count as unreached.
The vast majority (65%) of the Unreached Peoples live in the 10/40 window which is the rectangle on the globe between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator and east of the Greenwich Meridian. This is more or less the Muslim World and the Subcontinent of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The largest of these peoples include the Shaikh of Bangladesh (136 million), the Shaikh of India (83m), the Yadav of India (60m) and the Brahmin of India (60m). India has the most unreached peoples of any country.
Introduction / History
They claim connection to god Krishna since he was a herdsman. In most places they don’t use the name Ahir anymore and the most common name is Yadav or Yadava. It’s easy to find out who a Yadav is. Just ask them their name and they will tell you their first name followed by their title what is always Yadav.The Yadav are a caste comprising of milkmen, cowherds, cattle breeders and laborers. Their traditional occupation is animal husbandry and selling its products. The Yadav consist of both landowning and landless people. Some Yadav are businessmen, teachers, doctors, engineers and political leaders. Especially in the last 30 years they have become politically powerful in the states Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They are very influential and are a major challenge to the political supremacy of the Brahmins.They are living almost all over India and in South-Nepal. The highest concentration is in the states Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (North-India) but also in east, west and south India there are many Yadavs living. Those living in the North of India speak languages of the Indo-Aryan family. The Yadav of the South speak Dravidian languages. 23 languages have more than one hundred thousand speakers. 7 languages have even more than one million speakers (24 million Yadav people have Hindi as their primary language).
The Yadav live in joint families. Most of them are vegetarian but many start eating fish, mutton, chicken and sometimes pork, but not beef. Child labor is common among them.
The Yadav participate in the local traditional and socio-religious festivals. They have expertise in oral traditions and group singing in praise of the god Vishnu, Krishna or one of the many other gods that they worship. Similarly, they are good in musical dance, wrestling and mock-fighting with swords. Boys are favored for formal education. They are known to have more faith in astrology and talismans rather than in the services of a doctor. They often pray to Singaji for the protection of their cattle from disease and often give thank offerings of butter, unripe mangoes and sugar. They are in need to hear about the way of salvation. Most of the Yadav die never hearing the Name of Jesus once in a lifetime! But also life, lifestyle and living standard are changing all over the nation. The next generation will need to get other kinds of jobs. To get those jobs they need education but proper education is missing in many places (especially in the villages) More than 12 million Yadav live in Bihar (more than 10 % of the population). Every year Bihar knows major floods, killing hundreds of people, leaving millions homeless… They are badly in need for Christian relief workers who can give them more than food, clothes and medicines.
* For the salvation of the Yadav people. * Pray for short and long term workers / teams to come and pioneer new ministries among the Yadav. * For new focused evangelism and church planting ministries. * For literacy and community development work. * For Christian social workers eradicating alcoholism. * Christian workers to meet their spiritual and physical needs. * For the practice of child labor to end among the Yadav people. * For education to be made available to girls as well to the boys.
There are plenty resources including the whole Bible published and on line in Hindi.
Dr Julian Kennedy, July 2016