Christians around the world are participating in a new faith effort known as the "International Day of the Unreached" on Sunday — a campaign aimed at encouraging Bible believers to pray for and reach out to people around the world who have not yet heard the Christian gospel.
Marv Newell, senior vice-president of Missio Nexus — one of five global organizations involved in launching the effort — recently told The Church Boys podcast that the day of observance was launched to be a voice for an estimated two billion individuals across the globe who have not heard about Jesus' message.
"We have a world full of people who still don't know what saving grace in Jesus Christ is all about," Newell said, noting that the coalition has three research centers in the U.S. that have worked to determine the number of people who have not yet been reached with the Christian gospel.
He continued, "Of the 16,000 people groups in the world, there's still about 6,000 of those that are considered completely unreached."
Listen to Newell discuss the International Day of the Unreached below:
The International Day of the Unreached, which is being commemorated on May 15 for the first time, will be an annual effort that is held on Pentecost to remind Christian churches, radio stations and media of the importance of praying for and supporting outreach to these groups.
Considering that Pentecost Sunday "celebrates the coming of the holy spirit to the church" and is a "special day in church history," Newell said that it was deemed an appropriate time to launch the effort.
A number of well-known faith leaders have also stepped in to support the effort in recent months, with Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California passionately appealing to fellow believers to join in.
This Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 photo Saddleback Church founder and senior pastor, Rick Warren poses for a photo at the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. (AP Photo/Nick Ut )
"With more than 2 billion people who haven't had a chance to meet Jesus, it's time for the body of Christ to take a radical stand and say, 'This has to end in our generation,'" he said. "Join me in committing to pray, give, go, and advocate for those who need to know Christ by participating in the International Day for the Unreached."
Evangelism is a central component of Christian theology, with Jesus telling his disciples in Matthew 28:16-20 to "go and make disciples of all nations." Find out more about the International Day of the Unreached.
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