Christian group ‘couldn’t stop missionary’
The Christian missionary group that sent 27-year-old John Chau to a remote island inhabited by a protected tribe who killed him have denied they are responsible for his death.
Kansas City missionary group All Nations had trained Chau for a year for his trip but say he paid his own way and had been planning the trip since he was a teenager.
Chau was killed by an arrow earlier this month after he paid a local fisherman to take him to North Sentinel Island to spread the word of God to the remote tribe.
All Nations leader Mary Ho said Chau was "very well prepared" and knew the risks he was taking.
"He was just emotionally, culturally, physically, intellectually very, very well prepared," she told the Kansas City Star. "He was a young man who, from the time he was about 18 years old, went on a mission trip and knew that he was called to be a missionary.
"Even as a young man, before we met him, every decision he made, every step he took, was to share the love of God with the North Sentinelese," she said. "Knowing John, he would have pursued this calling no matter what."
In a letter to his family, Chau told his parents not to blame the tribe if they killed him and that he believed the risk of losing his life was worth it.
Survivor International has urged people not to try and retrieve Cahu's body.
"It's not impossible that the Sentinelese have just been infected by deadly pathogens to which they have no immunity, with the potential to wipe out the entire tribe," they said. "The Sentinelese have shown again and again that they want to be left alone, and their wishes should be respected."
"The British colonial occupation of the Andaman Islands decimated the tribes living there, wiping out thousands of tribespeople, and only a fraction of the original population now survive," they said.