An organization dedicated to protecting the persecution of Christian missionaries has demanded justice against an Indigenous tribe for killing an American missionary.
Reported last week, the death of John Allen Chau happened when the 27-year-old illegally traveled to Andaman and Nicobar Islands in hopes of sharing Christianity with Sentinelese people. While the tribe is protected by Indian law and numerous reports have stated bluntly to leave the tribe alone, Chau paid local fisherman to take him to the independent island. He was reportedly killed after a second attempt to reach the island the week of Nov. 16.
Now, the International Christian Concern wants the tribe to face jail time for seemingly protecting themselves from a trespasser. William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, stated in a press release a conspiracy theory that Bajrang Dal fundamentalists from India are reportedly killing Christian missionaries.
“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,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to both John’s family and friends. Every day, new reports of persecution are being documented in India. Many Christians fear this may be the new normal for their community as Hindu radicals and others have been allowed to attack Christians and other minority communities with impunity. India must take steps to counter the growing wave of intolerance and violence.”
The group also referred to the Sentinelese people as hostile, while other organizations have worked to protect their livelihood.
Local authorities launched an investigation over the seven fishermen involved in helping Chau get to the island. Because retrieving Chau’s body from the island would break the law, it isn’t known how his body will be recovered.
Chau’s family released a statement about their son’s passing, forgiving the tribe for the incident.
“We forgive those reportedly responsible for his death,” the statement reads. “He ventured out on his own free will and his local contacts need not be persecuted for their actions.”
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Chau kept a diary of his travels, including the first failed attempt to reach the tribe.