So apparently some Christian group is chucking a massive shit over the Sentinelese tribe killing American missionary JOHN ALLEN CHAU. This is one of a number of Christian groups who are behaving this way. This group is called “INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN” and their main focus is on Christian persecution. One thing that I will say is that they really have no basis to publicly call for justice, because Chau was trespassing and invading the home of one of the last tribes not touched by modern civilization. Considering this story is trending (particularly over Asian social media, I think it is worthy of my weekly piece).
In addition, what Chau did was illegal and he was warned a number of times not to go to the island and disturb the Sentinelese. Here is our post on the killing of Chau which we wrote 2 days ago. The group’s anger is misguided and is wrongfully aimed. But despite being aware of all this, they still want the locals to face justice.
This is what the group’s spokesperson said about this matter (via Patheos):
“We here at International Christian Concern are extremely concerned by the reports of an American missionary being murdered in India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to both John’s family and friends. A full investigation must be launched in this this murder and those responsible must be brought to justice.”
Here is what they said in their press release, using this case to claim that the incident is discriminating against Christians in India – I know what a complete farce:
This murder comes at a time when Indian Christians report ever escalating levels of persecution across the country…
India has a history of attacks on foreign Christian missionaries. In January 1999, Graham Staines, an Australian missionary, was burned alive along with his two sons Philip, age 10, and Timothy, age 6. A mob of Bajrang Dal fundamentalists attacked the missionary and his children while they sleeping in their station wagon in Manoharpur village, located in the Kendujhar District of India’s Odisha State.
Across India, reports of persecution continue to escalate in both number and severity. Much of this escalation in persecution followed the rise of the current BJP-led government in May 2014. Using religiously divisive rhetoric for political gain, BJP officials incite Hindu radicals to take action against religious minorities. In 2014, the year the BJP-led government took power, the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) documented 147 incidents of Christian persecution. In 2017, after three years of the current government, EFI documented 351 incidents of Christian persecution.
So essentially, they are now crying foul, for someone who was (sad to say) rightfully killed because he was trespassing. One must remember, the Sentinelese are a protected people in India and Indian laws forbid any foreigners to visit the island. In addition, days before Chau was killed by arrows, he had visited the island twice in an attempt to preach and convert them to Christianity. The first time ( days before he was killed), he escaped when they shot arrows at him ( most likely as a warning). The second time, they broke his canoe, and well we know what happened the third and last time he went onto the island and pretty much introduced himself ( in English) and said something like “JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU”.
If you think about it, this is like someone coming into your house uninvited not once, not twice, but thrice, and tells you that “Jesus Christ loves you”. In actual fact this is invading your privacy and I am pretty sure you wouldn’t take that lightly. So in my eyes, the Sentinelese were right in their action to kill a trespasser. Also, “Christian missionary” work has been coined really as a form of colonialism. To attempt to convert and force your beliefs onto another group, who you deem ( and we can pretty much assume Chau deemed the Sentinelese as more inferior and backward) is a form of colonialism. Why can’t the Sentinelese just be left alone to live their lives? Why does Christianity need to be imposed upon them? One must remember they have their own language, beliefs and values, and to invade their island (home) is disrespectful.
My final major point is that Chau having visited the island 3 times could have bought a host of modern diseases and illnesses to the tribe and onto the island. Because they are isolated and are not exposed to the modern world, their immune systems are weaker and thus are more susceptible to catch these diseases and illnesses. How selfish of Chau to not even think about jeopardizing their lives when he went onto the island.
Chau went on the island thinking that his “American-ness” and his “Christian-ness” would win the locals over, and to force the beliefs/way of life/invasion is pretty much what we call white hegemony. I think the saddest part is that the Sentinelese have been framed by some conservative media outlets and Christian groups as savages and Chau as some savior. Really it is the other way around. Of course it is sad that Chau’s life is gone and its a wasted life, but the Sentinelese are justified in killing him because he was trespassing and invading their home. I will leave my piece here.
Some images via Patheos
To read the original article, please click on: Christian Group Wants Native Tribe “Brought to Justice” for Death of Missionary