Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

American missionary killed by Andaman Islands tribe

ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS: An American missionary killed in a hail of arrows by an island tribe untouched by modern civilisation was bent on converting them to Christianity, it emerged today (Nov 22).


Thursday 22 November 2018, 05:44PM

A handout photo provided by the Indian Coast Guard and Survival International taken on Dec 28, 2004, shows a man of 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. Photo: via AFP

A handout photo provided by the Indian Coast Guard and Survival International taken on Dec 28, 2004, shows a man of 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. Photo: via AFP

John Allen Chau, 27, was attacked last week as he illegally set foot on the remote North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean, after paddling his kayak towards the shore carrying fish and a football as gifts, according to a journal quoted by different media.

He was crying: “My name is John. I love you and Jesus loves you... Here is some fish!”

Tribespeople fired arrows at him, one of then piercing his Bible, and he returned to a fishermen’s boat and spent the night writing about his experiences before going back to the island the next day.

He never returned.

North Sentinel in the Bay of Bengal is home to the Sentinelese people, believed to number only around 150. To protect their way of life, foreigners and Indians are banned from going within five kilometres of the island.

The tribe is known to be hostile to outsiders, having reportedly killed two fishermen whose boat drifted onto the island in 2006, and to have thrown spears at a helicopter checking for damage after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Chau called himself an “outbound collective explorer” and “snakebite survivor” on his purported Instagram account.

Authorities in the Indian Andaman Islands, of which North Sentinel is one, say that Chau, paid local fishermen to take him off the shore so that he could paddle the rest of the way himself.

“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people,” the reports quoted a letter to his parents as saying.

“Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed,” he said.

“I can’t wait to see them around the throne of God worshipping in their own language as Revelations 7:9-10 states,” he wrote, referring to the apocalyptic final book of the Bible’s New Testament.

“God, I don’t want to die.”

QSI International School Phuket

Fishermen saw the tribe burying his body on the beach the following day, a fellow missionary wrote in an email to his mother, the Washington Post reported.

“I believe he is still alive,” Lynda Adams-Chau said in a short email to the US daily. Asked why, she replied: “My prayers.”

Highly sensitive’

Indian police have consulted field experts including anthropologists, and tribal welfare and forest officers to help them try and retrieve Chau’s body.

“We have to take care that we must not disturb them or their habitat by any means. It is a highly sensitive zone and it will take some time,” Dependra Pathak, local chief of police, told AFP.

He said that a helicopter and then a ship were sent to the area to identify where the incident took place, and that they were holding talks with experts on how best to handle the delicate situation.

“We maintained a distance from the island and have not yet been able to spot the body. It may take some more days and… (reconnaissance) of the area,” Pathak said.

Since the Indian authorities keep away from the island, it was unclear whether Chau’s killing will have legal repercussions.

Indian police said a murder case had been registered against “unknown” tribespeople and that the fishermen who allegedly helped Chau get to the island were arrested.

London-based Survival International, which defends tribal rights, said that the “tragedy” of the American’s death “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,” it said.



Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters

Pauly44 | 23 November 2018 - 17:06:42

Comon DK, not a nice way for you to go out! 

Kurt | 23 November 2018 - 14:14:47

It is well known that the Islanders don't want any approach from outside world. And Authorities long time ago declared it as a forbidden zone to go too. If a person does, for whatever his reason is, than it is up to him/her.  Leave them alone in their own existence. Contact may bring also simple western diseases they have no resistance against.

DeKaaskopp | 23 November 2018 - 13:51:00

Indeed a good reaction ! On Phuket there are some kind of missionary expats too. Wondering if an arrow into their buds would silence them too?

Pauly44 | 23 November 2018 - 12:18:01

"Serves him right" wow that's harsh! His intentions although rather warped weren't bad, nobody deserves to be murdered but heck dont expect much from comments these days, he was foolish and paid the ultimate price. 

BigA | 23 November 2018 - 09:30:40

It serve's him right!Why don't he stay in his own country they got enough problems there!Brave Islanders leave them alone!

Aj Raymond RITCHIE | 22 November 2018 - 19:27:42

My grandmother was trained as a Methodist Missionary.  She got married instead (that is why I exist) but nearly all her class were killed in the Boxer Rebellion and the few that stayed on in China were later killed by the Japanese.  How pointless.
So should all such fools die. The Nicobar islanders should be congratulated on their action.  One less nuisance missionary in the world is a good thing

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Sun loungers to return to all Phuket beaches

Beach attendants at Zone 5 Patong Beach are the rudest people I ever encountered. I was rudely told...(Read More)

Hotels urged to cut plastic use

All you have to do is comprehend the comment "...You always speak about Singapore..." as y...(Read More)

Two monks slain in latest southern attack

"Can't compare terrorism by Thai against Thai in 3 provinces.." It's not only Thai...(Read More)

Cherng Talay goes on water rations

Phuket has a Water Board, right? Is it normal that a low ranking Village Head can make these decis...(Read More)

Truck driver charged for Patong Hill wipeout

It was quite overdue there, on Patong Hill. During the rainy months the brakes did hold wonderful we...(Read More)

Truck driver charged for Patong Hill wipeout

Ah. Brake failure is it? Sure there wasn't a power pole jumped out in front of you? Good that...(Read More)

Truck driver charged for Patong Hill wipeout

Did you notice the "SAFETY ⊕ FIRST" sign at the back of the runaway truck ?...(Read More)

Cherng Talay goes on water rations

The last months there was a lot of rainfall. We are now still in January. Many more dry months to co...(Read More)

Hotels urged to cut plastic use

Khun P. As you well know, S'pore is not always a 'role model'. No country is. I didn...(Read More)