Praise God for the discovery of self-sustaining movements to Jesus and more known believers in three of the original 31 Frontier People Groups (larger than 10 million) — the two Hausa groups and the Azerbaijani of Iran. Praise God that they are no longer considered Frontier People Groups without progress of the Good News! However, there are now 36 Frontier People Groups that have grown above 10 million; below are their short profiles as they are also significant groups that need prayer.
Afghan Tajiks in Afghanistan (TAH-jeek)
The Tajiks live in Tajikistan with a quarter of their population in Afghanistan. Like most Afghan peoples, they are Sunni Muslims, though they retain some folk or animistic practices. Tajik families are hospitable, large and close-knit, with city-dwellers retaining close ties with their rural relatives. The recent political crisis in Afghanistan makes faith in Jesus and relief for refugees more difficult.
Sylhet in Bangladesh (SIH-let)
There are over 11 million Sylhet Muslims in Bangladesh, who are Sunni Muslims (Hanafi and Sufi) but incorporate some Hindu practices into their traditions. They speak Bengali as a trade language, but Scripture portions, the JESUS Film, and audio resources do exist in the Sylheti language. The Sylheti province of Bangladesh is in the north-east, bordering on one of the most Christian areas of India, the tribal lands to the east of Bangladesh.
Lohar in India (LOW-har)
There are more than 11 million Hindu Lohar people in India, as well as Muslim and Sikh Lohar groups. Traditionally, the Lohar people of India were nomadic metalsmiths who traveled around to sell their goods. Formerly high-caste weapon makers of the Mewar Kingdom in India, they became poor nomads when the kingdom fell in 1568. Lohar see themselves as descendents of the god Vishwakarma, whom they worship. Many Hindu Lohar people live in the Indian state of Rajasthan and speak Hindi. Although their trade is not “unclean” like that of outcaste groups, it is hard for them to break into the modern workforce in new trades. Their nomadic lifestyle has made education difficult.
Mappila in India (MAH-pee-lah)
Over 10 million Mappila Muslims live in India, mostly in the southern state of Kerala, including offshore islands, where they speak the state language of Malayalam. They were won to the Muslim faith by Sunni Muslim seafarers involved in the spice trade and Muslim missionaries. They are mostly part of the Salafi sect of Sunni Islam. They speak the same language as the Mar Thoma Christian Mappilas (won to Christ by the disciple Thomas in the 1st century).
Hijazi Arabs in Saudi Arabia (hee-JAH-zee)
On the Saudi Arabian side of the Red Sea live more than 11 million Hijazi-Arabic speakers, the form of Arabic also the most common in Medina and Mecca, which differs significantly from Modern Standard Arabic. Although they are difficult to access in Saudi Arabia, over 300,000 Hijazi-speaking Arabs work in the United Arab Emirates.
Make a difference in the lives of the people living within FPGs!
God’s unchanging purpose was, is, and always will be to bless all the families of the earth: every nation, tribe, people and language. We can see that’s exactly what happens according to Revelation 5:9 and 7:9-10.
Jesus has all authority over all nations and has told us He will go with us even to the ends of the earth and time, helping us to make disciples of all peoples (Matthew 28:18-20). So be courageous! Pray, learn, go, tell others or give so that God’s blessing of forgiveness and eternal life will reach all families of the earth—- especially in the people groups where there are no Jesus movements yet.
Become an Advocate for ONE Frontier People Group
Ask the Lord to give you a Frontier People Group for whom you can become an advocate—embracing them in your heart and prayers, and asking the Holy Spirit to lead your family or small group in blessing that Frontier People Group. You can pick one of the largest neediest groups in this booklet or you can search on the Joshua Project by country to find groups there that are Frontier People Groups. Go to the interactive map at www.joshuaproject.net/frontier/interactive to pick a Frontier People Group by language, religion or size. Find others involved with your people group at www.getinvolved.com/.
Please pray about making one or more of the following commitments:
We look forward to rejoicing with you before the throne of God along with people from every tribe, language, people and nation. Learn More about Frontier Peoples at JoshuaProject.net/frontier, a collaborative research hub highlighting the least-reached people groups of the world to finish the Great Commission.
Frontier People Groups are the least reached peoples in the world—with virtually no access to the gospel! This graph and map show the distribution of all the Frontier People Groups by population and percentage in different regions. The vast majority of them live in South Asia and the rest are mostly in Muslim-majority countries.
Pray for self-sustaining Jesus movements to begin in all these groups, filling the earth with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Hab. 2:14). Pray that every million people in each of these FPGs will have at least two prayer teams advocating for them, and two engagement teams sharing God’s love and the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus with them.