If you've heard in the news recently, John Allen Chau traveled to North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal to declare Jesus to the Sentinelese Tribe that inhibits the remote island. The 30,000-year-old tribe off-limits visitors without their permission and is known to be incredibly aggressive to outsiders. The tribe has their preferred lifestyle. They are set in their ways.
John Allen Chau knew the tribe would reject him if he attempted to enter their land and become one of them. His diary suggests this.
"I made sure to stay out of arrow range, but unfortunately that meant I was also out of good hearing range…I regret I began to panic slightly as I saw them string arrows in their bows…I felt some fear but mainly was disappointed. They didn't accept me right away." He wrote over the two days of his attempted mission.
But Chau disrespected the Sentinelese Tribe's ideals and attempted to make contact on the island not once, but twice.
Chau paid a fisherman 25,000 rupees to smuggle him as close to the island as possible. On his first attempt, one of tribespeople (only about 10 years old…maybe a teenager) fired an arrow that struck his Bible.
A warning shot. But this was not enough of a hint.
The next day, Chau prepared a second approach which he described in his diary as, "You guys might think I'm crazy in all this, but I think it's worth it to declare Jesus to these people."
"The eternal lives of this tribe is at hand and I can't wait to see them around the throne of God worshipping in their own language."
Chau turned his diary over to the fisherman and took a kayak to the North Sentinal Island.
The next day, the fisherman reported seeing a body being buried on shore, which appeared to be the body of John Allen Chau.
To me, that warning shot suggested "stay away – you are not welcome here," not "welcome to our tribe."
Let's recap. Chau's diary suggests he knew what would happen if he made contact with the Sentinelese Tribe. He survived his first attempt but went back for a second attempt. He was convinced these people needed Jesus.
I do not feel remorse for Chau. Not the slightest bit. He knew his actions were going to cause horrific consequences. And then he had to face his consequences.
I have no problem with people believing in a deity, following a religion, or leading a spiritual lifestyle. People have the freedom to believe and practice as they please. But when people start forcing their religion on others, especially those who clearly do not want it, it becomes an invasion of personal space.
If someone doesn't want your religion, leave them be. If they want your religion, they'll come looking for it. Therefore, I feel absolutely no sorrow for Chau.
Do I feel sorry for his family? Sure, they did just lose their son, brother, and uncle, after all.
But he was arrogant for attempting his mission to declare Jesus to the Sentinelese Tribe. Feel free to disagree but disrespecting the tribe's lifestyle is uncalled for.