- A remote Indian tribe killed American missionary John Allen Chau with arrows and buried his body on the beach last week, police said.
- Chau appeared to know that his trip was dangerous and illegal, according to descriptions in his final diary entry.
- He described North Sentinel Island as “Satan’s last stronghold” and said he believed God helped him dodge Indian authorities guarding the sea around it.
The 26-year-old American who police say was killed by a remote Indian tribe last week, said he believed God helped him dodge authorities and reach the isolated island he referred to as “Satan’s last stronghold.”
John Allen Chau, a tourist and Christian missionary from Washington state, wrote in a final diary entry last week: “God Himself was hiding us from the Coast Guard and many patrols,” according to The Washington Post.
It suggests that Chau knew that his trip was dangerous and illegal.
Indian ships monitor the sea around North Sentinel Island, the Andaman Sea archipelago that is off-limits to visitors and where Andaman and Nicobar Islands officials don’t visit.
The indigenous Sentinelese tribe has virtually no contact with the world, speaks its own language, and lives without modern technology.
Chau knew that the Sentinelese resisted all outsider contact,police told the Associated Press. He appeared keen to bring Christianity to the island.
On his first trip to the island on November 15, he “hollered, ‘My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,'” according to one of his final diary entries, published by The Washington Post. A young boy fired an arrow at him in response, which speared his waterproof Bible.
He also wrote in his journal: “Lord, is this island Satan’s last stronghold where none have heard or even had the chance to hear your name?”
In a separate message to his family he said: “You guys might think I’m crazy in all of this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people … God, I don’t want to die.”
Chau returned to the island the next day. It’s not clear what happened next, but a group of fishermen he paid to take him to the island described seeing tribesmen drag the 26-year-old’s body along the beach and bury it, police said.
Police are struggling to recover Chau’s body, and are consulting anthropologists, tribal welfare experts and scholars to figure out a way to do so.
Chau’s family wrote in an Instagram statement on Wednesday: “We forgive those reportedly responsible for his death.” Chau’s mother, Lynda Adams-Chau, told The Washington Post that she is praying that her son is still alive.
Indian police said they can’t confirm Chau’s cause of death until his body is recovered.