Published: Fri, November 23, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Evangelist killed by tribe made several trips to forbidden North Sentinel Island

Evangelist killed by tribe made several trips to forbidden North Sentinel Island

The family of United States national John Allen Chau, who was shot and killed with arrows by the reclusive tribe that inhabits North Sentinel island in the Andamans, has said they forgive those reponsible for his death, while efforts to recover his body have proved futile so far.

His initial contacts with the Sentinelese, a tiny tribe of hunter-gatherers who reject contact with the outside world, had not gone well.

The MHA added that in visiting the Sentinels on the highly restricted island, Chau had violated local laws.

Chau's riveting journal of his last days, shared with The Washington Post by his mother, shows a treacherous journey by dark in a small fishing boat to the area where the small tribe lived in huts.

"They, I think, are the very, very precious citizens of our country".

"I hollered, 'My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you, ' " he wrote in his journal. The arrow, he wrote, hit a Bible he was carrying.

"I think I could be more useful alive. but to you, God, I give all the glory of whatever happens", Chau wrote.

Sai also said they had held correspondence with officials last month on the particular issue of the Centre's change in stand, saying "it was necessary to understand what the tribe wants before exposing them to such risks".

Asked why, she answered, "My prayers". Chau's family have forgiven those who killed their son. Meanwhile, he was a Christian missionary, a wilderness EMT, an worldwide soccer coach and a mountaineer for others.

Formal attempts at making contact with the remote people of North Sentinel Island have been marred with ignorance and violence.

Chau, whose friends described him as a fervent Christian, attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In his bio, he said he was a follower of the Christian group "the Way", as well as a wilderness emergency medical technician and explorer.

In this handout photo provided by the Indian Coast Guard and Survival International and taken on December 28, 2004, a man with the Sentinelese tribe aims his bow and arrow at an Indian Coast Guard helicopter as it flies over North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Islands, in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. "The fishermen later saw the tribespeople dragging his body around". "He wrote of maneuvering to avoid the Indian authorities who patrol the waters near the island".

He returned to the boat afterwards.

"As the case pertains to the ultra-sensitive tribal group - Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), the police is also taking help of anthropologists, academics, forest department experts guide & assist the police during the investigation of this case", Andaman police said in a statement. A missionary who was in contact with Mr Chau says his aim was to bring the gospel to the island tribesmen.

The young American, paddling his kayak toward a remote Indian island whose people have resisted the outside world for thousands of years, believed God was helping him dodge the authorities. Attempts by Indian census officials to count them from a distance have put their number at fewer than 100. In the years since, the Indian government has banned travel to the island in the Andaman Island chain not only for the safety of the passengers, but over concerns that the isolated population will lack the immunity necessary to survive contact with the modern world.

"Why does this attractive place have to be have so much death here?" he wondered hours before his death.

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