Missionary Killed By Tribe

Tags: Currents Faith, World News

Currents News Staff

Authorities say one of the oldest and most isolated tribes in the world is responsible for last week’s killing of American missionary John Allen Chau.

Archived footage from Survival International provides some of the few existing images of the tribe known as the Sentinelese.

They live in complete isolation on the tiny island of North Sentinel.

According to Indian officials, Chau illegally paid fishermen to take him to the isolated island, hoping to convert the tribe to Christianity.

Authorities believe he first canoed to shore on November 16th – deliberately disregarding an established perimeter around the island.

According to journal entries left with the fishermen, and shared with the Washington Post, the 26-year-old wrote “I hollered, ‘my name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you.'”

He was then reportedly shot at by a member of the tribe with an arrow piercing his bible.

The next day, Chau made a second attempt but never returned.

The fishermen he hired later reported seeing the young man’s body buried on the beach by tribe members.

Chau’s last entry in his journal reads, “You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people. God, I don’t want to die.”

In 2006, the same tribe killed two poachers who had been illegally fishing near their island.

Survival International, a group advocating for tribal people, believes the natives’ decision to remain isolated should be respected.

“They’ve made it very clear that they don’t want contact. Somebody comes, they have no idea what he’s coming for and why, I think it’s far more self-defense than it is murder,” said Sophie Grig, Survival International Senior Researcher.

On social media, Chau’s family wrote their son “loved god, life, helping those in need and had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people. We forgive those reportedly responsible for his death.”

All they can do is wait to find out when or if their son’s body will be recovered.