News, Culture & Society

Father of missionary killed by tribe blames ‘extreme Christianity’

Patrick Chau (right) blamed ‘extreme christianity’ for his son’s death and and said John (right) was an ‘innocent child’ 

The father of a missionary killed by a remote tribe when he arrived uninvited on their island has blamed ‘extreme Christianity’ for the death of his ‘innocent child.’

John Chau, 27, was killed on North Sentinel Island in November after being struck by a bow and arrow. 

Local fisherman reported seeing the tribe drag his body days after Chau paid them to take him as close as they would to the island before he kayaked over to it. 

His father Dr Patrick Chau has spoken out and said the American missionary community is responsbile for his son’s death.

He claimed John was an ‘innocent child’ who died from an ‘extreme vision’ Christianity taken to its logical conclusion.

Like his son, Chau was a graduate of Oral Roberts, an evangelical university in Oklahoma. He told The Observer: ‘If you have [anything] positive to say to me about religion. I do not wish to see or hear it.

‘John is gone because the Western ideology overpowered my [Confucian] influence. He blamed evangelicals’ ‘extreme Christianity’ for pushing his child into a ‘not unexpected end’.

He also referred to the ‘great commission’ which is the purported instruction from Jesus that Christians spread the gospel to all people.

Chau, who was born in Alabama but grew up in Vancouver, was consumed by two passions since childhood which were outdoor activity and Jesus Christ.

The Sentinelese, who inhabit North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Island chain, are considered one of the Earth’s last uncontacted tribes and they are believed to number just several dozen people.

It was reported that Chau, who attended Vancouver Christian High School, first read about the Sentinelese on a missionary database called the Joshua Project.

John Chau, 27, was killed on North Sentinel island in North Sentinel Island where he was trying to convert a remote tribe to Christianity 

John Chau, 27, was killed on North Sentinel island in North Sentinel Island where he was trying to convert a remote tribe to Christianity 

Chau was killed by members of the Sentinelese people (some of whom are shown in an undated stock photograph) after approaching their island uninvited on a kayak

Chau was killed by members of the Sentinelese people (some of whom are shown in an undated stock photograph) after approaching their island uninvited on a kayak

The Sentinelese attracted international attention in the wake of the 2004 Asian tsunami, when a member of the tribe was photographed on a beach, firing arrows at a helicopter (pictured)

The Sentinelese attracted international attention in the wake of the 2004 Asian tsunami, when a member of the tribe was photographed on a beach, firing arrows at a helicopter (pictured)

Its entry for the Sentinelese described them as ‘extremely isolated’ and notes that Indian government bans access to North Sentinel Island.  

In 2015 and 2016 he took four trips to the Andaman Islands and made contacts with the local Christian community there before making his way to North Sentinel Island.  

The Sentinelese tribe live on North Sentinal Island, which lies around 450 miles from the coast of Thailand and more than 745 miles from mainland India

The Sentinelese tribe live on North Sentinal Island, which lies around 450 miles from the coast of Thailand and more than 745 miles from mainland India

He documented his activities in a handwritten diary which recounted his final days in tragic detail.  

In October 2017, Chau began his missionary training at All Nations’ headquarters in Kansas City, The New York Times reported.  

He attended lectures, spoke with anthropologists and participated in the village simulation exercise.

His friends said that he was trying to prevent himself from getting sick to protect the islanders, whose immune systems have been isolated so long that some experts say they could be wiped out by the common cold.

In October 2017 he traveled to Port Blair, the Andaman Islands’ regional capital, and took up residence in a safe house.

With the help of a local evangelical, Chau hired five fishermen.

He set out with them on the night of November 14 and they made their first approach the following morning.

John Chau's mother Lynda (pictured) and the rest of his family have said no one is responsible for his death but him

John Chau’s mother Lynda (pictured) and the rest of his family have said no one is responsible for his death but him

The family of John Chau released this statement as they begged for Indian police to release the seven men they have charged in relation to his death and not pursue charges against the tribe

The family of John Chau released this statement as they begged for Indian police to release the seven men they have charged in relation to his death and not pursue charges against the tribe

Chau assembled a kayak because the fishermen refused to go to the island with him and insisted on staying a half mile out. 

In a letter he wrote to his parents before he traveled to the island, Chau had recounted seeing some islanders on the beach. 

He paddled up to them and tried to preach, saying: ‘My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,’ according to the note. 

They raised their bows and he paddled back to the fishing boat.

The islanders then chased Chau into the surf. He saw the fishermen far away, waving their arms up and down, and swam to them.

Chau, who attended Vancouver Christian High School, first read about the Sentinelese on a missionary database called the Joshua Project

Chau, who attended Vancouver Christian High School, first read about the Sentinelese on a missionary database called the Joshua Project

The fishermen told the police that the following morning Chau swam to the island. They then went to the ocean to fish.

When they returned to North Sentinel a day later to check up on him, they saw a group on the beach dragging his body with a rope.

All five fishermen were later arrested, along with two others and were accused of helping lead Chau to his death.

In the letter to his parents, he told them not to hold the tribe responsible for his death if he did not come back alive.

‘You guys might think I’m crazy in all of this, but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people,’ he wrote. 

In an Instagram post on his account in November, his parents Patrick and Lynda revealed they had forgiven the tribe and urged Indian authorities to release the local men who Chau paid to take him close to the island.

One of Chau’s friends previously revealed to DailyMail.com that he was ‘committed’ to travelling to the remote island, deep in the Indian Ocean, to preach Christianity to the tribesmen and had been planning the trip for at least three years.

Neil MacLeod, of Stornaway, Scotland, said he met Chau on a flight from London to Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2015. 

‘I saw him reading some Christian literature and I’m a Christian and we started talking,’ he said.

MacLeod, 47, said Chau told him he had recently returned from India and was trying to figure out how to travel to the remote North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal. 

‘He mentioned that he wanted to go to these islands, the islands where he has now died,’ MacLeod said. ‘I had heard of these islands and I know how dangerous they are, so I was surprised by that.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk