John Allen Chau was recently killed by residents of North Sentinel Island, owned by India and home to the Andaman people who, after the decimation of the Amazon rainforest, may be the only remaining Stone-Age-adjacent tribe on the planet.
Chau was a Christian missionary who felt it was important to tell “these people” about Jesus.
From his diary:
“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this, but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people.”
“This is not a pointless thing. The eternal lives of this tribe is at hand and I can’t wait to see them around the throne of God worshiping in their own language, as Revelations 7:9-10 states.”
The Andaman tribe, who may number less than a hundred, are protected by the Indian government. Any contact of any kind is strictly illegal, mainly due to the risk of disease, although their extremely violent disposition and the complete lack of natural resources are probably factors. The history of contact with the Andaman people and outsiders is entirely depressing, and amounts to a litany of theft, plague, kidnapping and murder.
Presumably if Chau knew enough about the island to get there, he learned about all this and that contact with them was a real and substantive genocide risk. And he went there anyway.
There is a problem for the entire concept of missionary Christianity. If you accept that a loving god who knows everything probably wouldn’t allow someone go to hell just because they’ve never heard about Jesus, the most sensible, logical course of action is to never tell anyone about Jesus, burn all the bibles, and completely eliminate all discussion of Jesus from the public discourse.
Alternatively, if your god would allow these people to end up in hell for no reason whatsoever, then maybe you need a new god, because this one is not working out.
Chau’s family have forgiven the tribe for their murder. There is no word on how the tribe feel about the attempted genocide of their entire race, but the Indian government has arrested everyone involved in helping him get there.