John Allen Chau traveled to North Sentinel Island with the help of fisherman who may have suggested he not go. Regardless, he continued on in a kayak. He knew the island was off-limits, according to officials and reports, but believed he’d been given the strength and authority by Jesus and set off.
The Sentinelese of the Andaman Islands in India is among the world’s last ‘uncontacted’ people, who violently resist contact with the outside world.
As soon as Chau landed on the remote atoll, he was fired on by a torrent of arrows aimed by Sentinelese, the fiercely private inhabitants protected by Indian law.
Senior police officials were quoted by India Today saying Chau was an American “Christian missionary who wanted to convert the Sentinelese tribe that inhabits the island where he was killed.”
Chau, 27, of Alabama and of late from Washington State, was an adventurer and a missionary. A graduate of Oral Roberts University, he had traveled the world and was a skilled diver, climber and emergency medic, was also a “snakebite survivor.”
Some are asking why Chau, who was described as an “American tourist” in initial reports, would go to a location both illegal to enter and clearly dangerous. A note he left with the fisherman that would later see him killed and his body dragged by the tribesman, explained his motivation; “Jesus had bestowed him with the strength to go to the most forbidden places on Earth,” as was reported to have been shared by Indian officials.
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