This is an article from the January-February 2000 issue: Short-Term Missions

The Joshua Project Listing of Untargeted Peoples

The Joshua Project Listing of Untargeted Peoples


What are the criteria for the Joshua Project List? The Joshua Project peoples are "country-distinct" peoples each over 10,000 in population that were chosen, by their ethno-linguistic distinction and their status of being less than 2% Evangelical and less than 5% Christian adherents. There are currently about 1600 peoples on the active list. The following sub-list of approximately 240 untargeted groups is sorted by Country name and then by People name. Cultural, social and religious distinctions are not included in this list. A current copy of the Joshua Project list is downloadable from the Internet at: A pri.nted version is also available from the AD2000 and Beyond International Office.

What is the source of the Joshua Project List? The Joshua Project list was compiled in 1994 and 1995 by combining people group data from SIL / Wycliffe, International Mission Board-Southern Baptist, Operation World and Adopt-A-People and has been continually updated since then.

How was the ministry activity data compiled? In the spring of 1996 a ministry survey was sent to approximately 3,000 international mission agencies. The goal of this survey was to measure exposure to the Gospel; to answer the question, "What ministry activity has occurred among this people?" In the spring of 1998 a second survey was sent to a similar audience. The purpose of this second survey was to continue to update the church planting status as well as to measure the response to the Gospel. The main question the second survey tried to address was what has been the response to the Gospel among this people? Is there an established indigenous church? Over 45,000 pieces of information regarding ministry activity among the Joshua Project peoples were collected in response to these two surveys and other information gathering.

The Untargeted Peoples

The "untargeted" list on the following pages are the peoples that do not have a reported church planting team on-site and no mission organization has committed itself to church planting in the next two to three years among them. This status is based on the data that has been reported to the AD2000 and Beyond Movement International Office.

Because of security reasons limiting the availability of information, and general gaps in our data, it is quite likely that some of the peoples on this list are actually targeted for future church planting or already have on-site teams. Your help is needed to make this list as accurate as possible.

If you are aware of inaccuracies, updates or additional ministry activities, please e-mail <[email protected]> with the update. All suggestions will be given serious consideration if data sources are included.

Are changes still being made to the Joshua Project List?

One of the commitments of AD2000 and Beyond is to make this a dynamic list constantly updated to reflect the most accurate possible picture of the least evangelized peoples. Many new peoples have been added to the original list based on better field information showing that they meet the criteria to be on the list. Other peoples have been removed from the original list because further research showed they were ethno-cultural rather than ethno-linguistic or the percentages of Evangelicals or Christians were higher than originally reported.

Since the AD2000 and Beyond Movement International Office took over administrating the Joshua Project list an average of over 200 changes are made to the list each month. Since its origin over 4500 updates have been made to the Joshua Project list. Most of this is based on field input and updates from other researchers. The kinds of things that are being updated are population, people and language names, percentage of Evangelicals and Adherents, availability of the Scriptures etc.

What are the future plans for the Joshua Project?

As the picture grows increasingly clear for those groups over 10,000 in population, the hope is to expand the Joshua Project list to all peoples regardless of size. Through a growing network of worldwide contacts and researchers it is expected that this list will undergo continual refinement. It is hoped that the Joshua Project list can be integrated together with several of the other available major people group information sets to provide a complete ethno-linguistic peoples picture that many mission organizations would use and agree upon as a information baseline.

How can you be involved?

This list of untargeted represents some of the most spiritually needy peoples in the world. First and foremost pray for the penetration of the Gospel into these peoples. Keep this list in your Bible as a reminder to pray for those peoples who sit in darkness. Encourage your church to adopt one of these untargeted peoples. Send this list to your denomination leaders or mission organization you are connected with and ask them to begin a new church planting effort among one of these untargeted groups. Ask the Lord if you yourself might be one of the missionaries that are needed to plant churches among these groups. Register your adoption with the AD2000 and Beyond Movement. Send any updates and corrections you are aware of to the AD2000 and Beyond International Office, 2860 S. Circle Drive, Suite 2112, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 USA or email them to: <[email protected]>

Click Here to see the latest list:


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