The 10/40 Widow, stretching from northern Africa into the Middle East and Asia, is home to two-thirds of the world’s population, most of the world’s least-reached countries and people groups, and the fewest Christians.

Take a look at the list below of the world’s 10 largest urban metropolitan areas.* Many things could be said about them, but one of the most notable points for someone interested in mission is that 7 of them are in the 10/40 Window, which is where a huge majority of the world’s unreached people live.

While 6.5 of 10 people on the planet live in this window, only 1.5 out of 10 Adventists are in that same window. We have work to do!

The good news about cities is that due to their diversity, those who live there are often more open to new ideas, including new ideas about God. So these top 10 metropolitan areas, with more than 20 million people each, represent a tremendous opportunity for mission. With so many people in these places, we know that God’s heart is drawn out to them. Is yours?

Will you pray or maybe even go? Will you give to support urban mission? Will you stake a claim for Christ where the need and opportunity are greatest?

China’s Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed train travels the world’s longest rail line with a total length of 1,428 miles.

1Guangzhou metro area Country: China

Population: 48,600,000

Adventist members: 28,492†

Churches/companies: 146

Mission challenge: Each church must reach 332,877 people.



Source: “Beijing-Guangzhou High Speed Train,” TravelChinaGuide,travelchinaguide.com/china-trains/beijing-guangzhou.

[Photo credit] istock/huad262

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, accommodating as many as 3,000 pedestrians with each traffic signal change.

2 Tokyo metro area

Country: Japan

Population: 39,800,000

Adventist members: 2,385

Churches/companies: 11

Mission challenge: Each church must reach 3,618,182 people.



Source: Craig Fryer, “Shibuya Crossing,” GoJapanGo.com, gojapango.com/places/tokyo/tokyo/landmarks/shibuya-crossing.

[Photo credit] istock/SeanPavonePhoto

Shanghai has the fastest elevator in the world.

It travels at 45.8 miles per hour. Installed in the 2,073.4-foot tall Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in this photo, it travels 121 stories.

3 Shanghai metro area

Country: China

Population: 31,100,000

Adventist members: 7,531

Churches/companies: 37

Mission challenge: 

Each church must reach 840,541 people. 



Source: “Fastest lift (elevator),” Guinness World Records, guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/fastest-lift-(elevator).

[Photo credit] istock/zorazhuang

With more than 10 million vehicles on the roads each workday, Jakarta has some of the worst rush-hour traffic on the planet.

4 Jakarta metro area

Country: Indonesia

Population: 28,100,000

Adventist members: 21,742

Churches/companies: 86

Mission challenge: Each church must reach 326,744 people.



Source: Joe Cochrane, “Gridlocked Jakarta Becomes Even Worse, at Least for a Week,” The New York Times, April 10, 2016, nytimes.com/2016/04/11/world/asia/gridlocked-jakarta-becomes-even-worse-at-least-for-a-week.html.

[Photo credit] istock/Herianus

Azadpur Mandi is the largest produce market in Asia. About 3,000 trucks bring fruits and vegetables to more than 30,000 vendors each day.

5 Delhi

metro area

Country: India

Population: 26,400,000

Adventist members: 3,520

Churches/companies: 42

Mission challenge: Each church must reach 628,571 people.



Source: Imamul Hassan, “What Are the Mind Blowing Fact About New Delhi?” September 24, 2015, Quora, quora.com/What-are-the-mind-blowing-fact-about-new-delhi.

[Photo credit] IndiaPicture/Alamy Stock Photo

Residents of Seoul enjoy the fastest Internet speed in the world.

6 Seoul metro area

Country: South Korea

Population: 24,400,000

Adventist members: 78,375

Churches/companies: 116

Mission challenge: Each church must reach 210,345 people.



Source: “Which City Has the World’s Fastest Internet in 2016?” Dospeedtest, May 26, 2016, dospeedtest.com/blog/which-city-has-the-worlds-fastest-internet-in-2016.

[Photo credit] istock/AsianDream

Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, is highly multilingual, multicultural, and multi-religious.

7 Karachi metro area

Country: Pakistan

Population: 24,300,000

Adventist members: 2,899

Churches/companies: 65

Mission challenge: Each church must reach 373,846 people.



Source: “Karachi,” wiki voyage, last updated February 28, 2017, en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Karachi.

[Photo credit] istock/PPI-Images

Three of the 10 largest malls in the world can be found in Metro Manila. One even houses an Olympic-sized ice skating rink.

8 Manila metro area

Country: Philippines

Population: 23,300,000

Adventist members: 11,552

Churches/companies: 126

Mission challenge: Each church must reach 184,921 people.



Source: Dhiram, “World’s Ten Largest Shopping Malls,” Luxuryaunches, July 8, 2008, luxurylaunches.com/travel/worlds_top10_largest_shopping_malls.php.

[Photo credit] istock/Simon Podgorsek

Mumbai has only 11.8 square feet of open space per person. That’s less per person than in New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mexico City, and Tokyo, making Mumbai the most cramped city in the world.

9 Mumbai metro area

Country: India

Population: 23,200,000

Adventist members: 10,000

Churches/companies: 74

Mission challenge: Each church must reach 313,514 people.



Source: “Facts About Mumbai,” Fact 4 All, August 16, 2016, facts4allblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/facts-about-mumbai-bombay.

[Photo credit] istock/Extreme-Photographer

Mexico City is the most populous metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world. 

10 Mexico City metro area

Country: Mexico

Population: 22,100,000

Adventist members: 58,629

Churches/companies: 176

Mission challenge:

Each church must reach 125,568 people.



Source: http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/mexico-city-population.

[Photo credit] istock/erlucho

* Source for metropolitan populations: Thomas Brinkhoff, “Major Agglomerations of the World,” Internet Archive, accessed February 21, 2017, https://www.citypopulation.de/world/Agglomerations.html.



† Source for Adventist church statistics: “It’s Time!” GC Urban Conference 2013 and the Seventh-day Adventist Church world division “Mission to the Cities” reports, 2015-2017. copy

Karen Suvankham
Karen Suvankham is the communication coordinator for the Global Mission Centers and Mission to the Cities at the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters.