The 10/40 window term is used by Christian missionaries to loosely define areas of the world with the "highest level of socioeconomic challenges and least access to the Christian message and Christian resources on the planet" (Source: Wikipedia entry "10/40 window").

However, is the 10/40 window term sort of quaint and grossly oversimplified?

The reason for asking the said question is because apart from the glaring error of the 10/40 window not including the nation with the highest population of Muslims which is Indonesia, it also does not include very poor Central American and some South American nations.

Furthermore, the computer internet technology advancements that started around 1995 have led to smartphones and rapid growth of the internet so a lot of poor nations even have access to the internet.

Finally, it really seems like is it a gross oversimplification because a lot of European nations that are culturally Christian like France, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Eastern European nations, etc. have a lot of nominal Christians and atheists but said nations are not in the 10/40 window.

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    The term has been used for over 35 years. It is likely that when it was first coined, it more accurately described the situation. Jan 30, 2023 at 2:31
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    Try coining any generalisation about 40% of the people of the world. It will be oversimplified. Is it useful for some discourse? Is it useful for some discourse if adapted slightly? That's the bar, not 'it's an accurate sociological model'. Jan 30, 2023 at 7:34
  • "Quaint" is merely a matter of opinion. "Oversimplified" is necessarily true of any such generalization. Of course there are poor nations outside that region and rich nations inside it, and Christian nations inside and non-Christian nations inside. Is that enough of an answer? Is this question in service of some other, bigger, question?
    – Maverick
    Jan 30, 2023 at 14:51
  • @Maverick In general, I am cautious about oversimplifying. It's a little comical. I can sort of be overly lawyerly when speaking. Now, in regards to this question, I think Christian ministries & missionaries should be aware of the dangers of overlooking mere culturally Christian nations ( like in Europe) because we should careful about Not leaving people out of the harvest that is ready to reaped by missionaries. Therefore, we should probably be reluctant and/or start to avoid using terms like 10/40 window. Do you follow? Jan 30, 2023 at 16:41
  • So the bigger question is whether we should use the term. I'd say no, although that's not a StackExchange kind of question, because it seems useless.
    – Maverick
    Jan 30, 2023 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


The whole point of the expression "the 10/40 window" is based on a geographical area between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator:

The 10/40 Window is a term coined by Christian missionary strategist and Partners International CEO Luis Bush in 1990 to refer to those regions of the eastern hemisphere, plus the European and African part of the western hemisphere, located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator, a general area that was purported to have the highest level of socioeconomic challenges and least access to the Christian message and Christian resources on the planet.

Source: Wikipedia entry "10/40 window"

That was then. I think it is safe to say that 30 years later, missionary activity has spread far beyond the limitations of that geographical area.

As for the expression being quaint and grossly oversimplified, that is a matter of opinion. What is important is that the good news of God's kingdom is being preached throughout the inhabited earth, and not just by missionaries working in different countries.

A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, spiritually speaking.

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