Why Are The Unreached Still Unreached? Nik Ripken

Somalia-Mission-Planning (Photo credit: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection)

Excerpts from Nik Ripken‘s article: “Why are the Unreached Unreached?”


80% of the unreached do not read or write a word. A Somali nomad explained, “Show me how to put your church on my camel before you talk to me about your Jesus.” Many of the unreached dwell in enemy held territory where there are few, if any, churches, pastors, Bible Studies, etc. Remove church buildings, corporate worship, pews and hymn books from believers’ environments and where does one meet God? Sharing the “Good News” is intrinsic to “being in Christ.”  What effect does the absence of Bibles studies, corporate worship, baptisms and the Lord’s Supper have on those called to minister?


As we began our ministry four years ago in the Horn of Africa a colleague/mentor pointedly told my wife and I,
“If you are ‘successful’ in sharing Christ with your target people so that they come to faith, you will get someone killed.” I shrugged this admonition off as being the framework for a good deputation story.
Until three of the first believers I ever discipled were murdered for their faith.

“If you do not believe that Jesus is who He claims to be; the Way, the Truth, and the Life – the very Son of God and the only way to Heaven; then please keep your mouth shut. Don’t get someone killed for something you are not sure about.”


Christianity, many unreached believe as represented by the West, is a faith of abortion, high crime rate and drug abuse. Therefore, a true follower of Christ does not often begin on level ground among the unreached. We start at minus three or four.

“Comfort Zone”:

A friend of mine mapped Africa by climate/temperature.  Over that, he mapped the location and number of
missionaries. As the temperature climbed, the number of missionaries went down. Over that, he mapped
unreached peoples, especially adherents of Islam. As the temperature grew, so did the percentage of those
unreached by the Gospel.

Nik Ripken is the author of the book “The Insanity of God”…