Man Killed By Uncontacted Peoples For Trying To Convert Them To Christianity

You have likely encountered someone urging you to join a new religion if you reside in a large city or have just visited one.

It's not unusual to see activists going door to door to try to convert people to their religion. Unless you live in an entirely secluded neighborhood, that is.

When John Allen Chau visited an island in the Indian Ocean and tried to convert the locals to Christianity in 2018, this identical scenario played out.

Chau had a love for hiking, camping, and traveling. He was raised in a Christian environment in Vancouver, Washington.

After returning from a trip to Mexico in high school, he offered a sermon declaring Christians "need to know how to defend our faith." He frequently shared his experiences online.

"When we go out in our world, there are people that'll just come and oppose us, and they'll have questions, and they'll have arguments … We can't just, like, go out there unprepared. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it," he said.

Chau first learned about the secluded Sentinelese people in high school. These hunter-gatherers are said to be one of the last uncontacted peoples on Earth, and North Sentinel Island is off-limits to others without permission.

In a letter to his parents in November 2018, Chau stated that he was traveling to the island to "declare Jesus" to its residents and asked them to "not be angry at them or God if [he] got killed." Chau seems to be aware of the danger of his mission.

Chau endeavored to approach the island's inhabitants and succeeded; he noted in his journal that he made an effort to provide fish and football presents.

"I hollered: 'My name is John, I love you, and Jesus loves you,'" he wrote. "I regret I began to panic slightly as I saw them string arrows in their bows. I picked up the fish and threw it toward them. They kept coming.

"I paddled like I never have back to the boat."

Chau had purchased a fishing boat for 25,000 rupees ($302) to bring him near the island, but just after touching down, it's thought he was shot and murdered by arrows.

A police statement explained: "The fishermen saw a dead person being buried at the shore which, from the silhouette of the body, clothing, and circumstances, appeared to be the body of John Allen Chau."

As Chau passed away, his family sent a message on Instagram expressing their forgiveness for Chau's murderers and praising Chau for being a cherished son, brother, uncle, and Christian missionary.