Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

For well over a decade,

For well over a decade, the evangelical church has paid close attention to an area called the "10/40 Window," a term coined by Argentinean evangelist Luis Bush. This area, demarcated by a giant rectangle between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator, stretches from western Senegal to eastern China and contains the "core" of people who have had little or no exposure to the gospel. Close to 4 billion people inhabit the 10/40 Window, including 90 percent of the world’s "poorest of the poor," according to Window International, an organization spearheading much of the 10/40 movement.

In focusing mission efforts on this swath of the globe, evangelicals have come to believe that two spiritual "forces" exist in the center of the 10/40 Window. Missions researcher George Otis Jr. refers to these powers as "the prince of Persia (Iran)" and the "spirit of Babylon (Iraq)." Otis and others believe that these strongholds must be "penetrated" by the gospel in order to be faithful to the commands of Jesus.

But this geographic and spiritual bull’s eye has captured the imagination of more than just American evangelicals. It is also a region of utmost importance to current foreign policy-makers within the U.S. government, which has waged two wars during the last three and a half years in the heart of the 10/40 Window.

Many evangelical churches are not only launching bases from which missionaries are sent to the far reaches of the globe, but also wellsprings of support for George W. Bush’s foreign policy. It is out of these same communities of Christians that an aggressive political vision has begun to ride shotgun with a pre-existing commitment to reach the nations with the gospel.

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Sojourners Magazine February 2005
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