US Man Killed By Tribe Wrote Warning Letter To Family Before He Died

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The American missionary who was shot dead with arrows by a remote Indian tribe wrote a warning letter to his family before he died.

John Allen Chau, whose age is yet to be confirmed but is said to be either 26 or 27 according to reports, paid local fishermen to take him to North Sentinel Island last week (November 15) hoping to encourage the isolated tribesmen there to convert to Christianity.

When he stepped foot on the island, which is a part of India’s Andaman Islands, Chau was shot dead by a flurry of arrows from the endangered tribesmen.

man shot with arrows tribeIndian Coastguard

As reported by the Daily Mail, who have obtained several of Chau’s journal entries, in a letter addressed to his family the missionary wrote ‘please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed’.

The letter, Chau’s last entry in his diary, describes what happened when the American visited the island and tribe the day before his death.

On November 15 Chau had reached the shore of North Sentinel Island in his kayak offering gifts of a football and fish to the tribesmen.

Quickly realising he wasn’t welcome when some of the tribe started shooting at him with arrows, Chau threw his gifts in their direction before fleeing.

Describing the events, Chau wrote:

Well, I’ve been shot by the Sentinelese, by a kid probably about 10 or so years old, maybe a teenager, short compared to those who looked like adults.

A little kid shot me with an arrow directly into my Bible which I was holding at my chest. They chased me. I had to swim almost a mile back to the boat.

Father, forgive him and any of the people on this island who try to kill me… and especially forgive me if they succeed.

If you want me to get actually shot or even killed with an arrow then so be it. I think I could be more useful alive though, but to you, God, I give all the glory of whatever happens.

Google

Although Chau planned to return to the island the following day to meet the tribe, he admitted the experience made him reluctant saying ‘I’m scared’.

His faith in God though changed his mind writing ‘I will try again tomorrow’ asking for the Lord to strengthen him.

Contact with indigenous Andaman tribes living in isolation from the world is illegal as is taking photographs or videos of them.

man shot with arrows tribeTimes Now

Contact with indigenous Andaman tribes living in isolation from the world is illegal as is taking photographs or videos of them.

While it is not known how many tribesmen there are, according to BBC News estimates say the number is between only about 50 and 150.

Various global organisations, including Survival International, campaign to save these endangered tribesmen who are at risk of contracting disease and common illnesses including the flu if they have contact with the outside world.

In a statement addressing the killing of Chau, Survival International said:

This tragedy should never have been allowed to happen. The Indian authorities should have been enforcing the protection of the Sentinelese and their island for the safety of both the tribe, and outsiders.

Instead, a few months ago the authorities lifted one of the restrictions that had been protecting the Sentinelese tribe’s island from foreign tourists, which sent exactly the wrong message, and may have contributed to this terrible event.

It’s not impossible that the Sentinelese have just been infected by deadly pathogens to which they have no immunity, with the potential to wipe out the entire tribe.

The Sentinelese have shown again and again that they want to be left alone, and their wishes should be respected.

They added how this ‘tragedy’ should be ‘a wake up call’ to the Indian authorities to properly protect the island from ‘further invaders’.

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Emily Murray

Emily Murray

Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn't writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.