Missionary killed by tribe he aimed to convert

  • 22/11/2018

An American missionary has died after trying to preach to a tribe known for its hostility to outsiders.

John Allen Chau, 27, travelled by boat to India's North Sentinel Island, where he walked into a flurry of arrows, The Daily Mail reports.

Fishermen who helped him travel to the island say they later saw members of the reclusive tribe that lives on the island dragging his body around.

A friend told The Daily Mail Mr Chau had been trying to get to the island to preach Christianity to the tribe for at least three years.  

"This was something he was working on for three years. He was committed to going there. In his view, he was trying to help these people," fellow Christian traveller Neil MacLeod said.

"There are islands that are nearby and he was making relationships and connections to help him get to the islands."

Mr MacLeod said it was clear to him that Mr Chau felt "called" to preach to the tribe.

Indian police have opened a murder case in connection to Mr Chau's death, but the Sentinelese that attacked him cannot be charged with his death, The Daily Mail reports.

There are strict laws preventing people from bothering the tribe in a bid to shelter the tribe from diseases and protect their indigenous way of life.

Survival International, a charity that campaigns to protect the Sentinelese, said that Mr Chau's death was preventable.

"This tragedy should never have been allowed to happen," International Director Stephen Corry said.

"The Indian authorities should have been enforcing the protection of the Sentinelese and their island for the safety of both the tribe, and outsiders."

The fishermen that took Mr Chau to the island have been arrested in connection with his death.