Missionary’s dad blames ‘extreme Christianity’
THE story caused a worldwide sensation. It was as though it was out of a 1930s 'boys own' adventure book. A bold young missionary. An ignorant, uncontacted tribe. A death in a hail of arrows. But the father of John Allen Chau says it was all due to extreme evangelical Christianity.
Speaking to The Observer at the weekend, Dr Patrick Chau said his son's fate at the hand of the North Sentinel Island tribe late last year was 'not unexpected'.
John was a member of an evangelical group called the All Nations Family attempting to fulfil what it calls the 'Great Commission'. It is actively working towards bringing on Armageddon, the End of Days, through completing what it believes is the criteria for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
PAWN OF PROPHECY
"You guys might think I am crazy in all this but I think it's worth it to declare Jesus to these people … This is not a pointless thing - The eternal lives of this [Sentinelese] tribe is at hand and I can't wait to see them around the throne of God worshipping in their own language as Revelation 7:9-10 states," he wrote in his final message to his family.
The passage reads (in the 1611 King James Version evangelicals favour):
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Put simply, some extremist evangelicals believe they are doing their god a favour by converting of the world's last uncontracted tribes to their religion, bringing forward the promised 'paradise'.
Dr Chau blames this extremist belief for the death of his son.
"If you have (anything) positive to say about religion," he said, "l wish not to see or hear."
"John is gone because the Western ideology overpowered my (Confucian) influence."
Dr Chau is a follower of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.
In an earlier Instagram post, the Chau family said they had forgiven the tribe for their action and urged Indian authorities to release those arrested for taking his son to the island.
John's body has not been recovered after Indian authorities ruled against such attempts.
It was last seen being dragged away by survivors of the uncontracted Andaman Islands Chain.
LAST OF A DYING RACE
The tribe has been decimated in recent decades by disease introduced by illegal visitors.
John defied Indian government law preventing contact with the North Sentinelese because of their isolated immune systems and relatively undisturbed culture.
He hired five local fishermen to take him close to the remote island before he kayaked alone to the shore. After retreating to the fishing boat after being confronted by bow-wielding tribespeople, John tried again.
This time, when the fishermen returned, they saw his body on the beach.
The five fishermen, and another two people who assisted in the project, have since been arrested.
John's friend, John Ramsey, told The Observer that the missionary's motives were pure.
"His motivation was love for the (Sentinelese) people," he said. "If you believe in heaven and hell then what he did was the most loving thing anyone could do."