American missionary killed by tribesmen on remote island wrote to parents, saying: 'Don't be mad at them'

Ellen Manning
<em>Killed – Missionary John Allen Chau was reportedly show dead with arrows by a tribe he was trying to convert (Picture: Instagram/JohnAllenChau)</em>
Killed – Missionary John Allen Chau was reportedly show dead with arrows by a tribe he was trying to convert (Picture: Instagram/JohnAllenChau)

An American missionary killed on a remote Indian island by a tribe he was hoping to convert reportedly wrote a letter to his parents asking them not to be ‘mad at them or at God’ if he was killed.

John Allen Chau, 26, was reportedly shot dead with arrows when he arrived at North Sentinel Island.

A post from his family on his Instagram account said he was reported killed while “reaching out to members of the Sentinelese Tribe in the Andaman Islands.”

They said “words cannot express” the sadness they are experiencing, adding: “We forgive those reportedly responsible for his death”.

<em>Tribute – Mr Chau’s family paid tribute to him on his Instagram account (Picture: Instagram/JohnAllenChau)</em>
Tribute – Mr Chau’s family paid tribute to him on his Instagram account (Picture: Instagram/JohnAllenChau)

According to DailyMail.com, Mr Chau wrote a letter to his parents about his hopes to convert the remote tribe.

“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people,” he wrote in the letter, which was obtained by DailyMail.com.

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He went on: “Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed.

“Rather please live your lives in obedience to whatever he has called you to and I’ll see you again when you pass through the veil.”

<em>John Allen Chau (right) poses with Founder of Ubuntu Football Academy Casey Prince, 39, just days before he left for India where he was killed in a remote island populated by the Sentinelese (Picture: AP/Sarah Prince)</em>
John Allen Chau (right) poses with Founder of Ubuntu Football Academy Casey Prince, 39, just days before he left for India where he was killed in a remote island populated by the Sentinelese (Picture: AP/Sarah Prince)

The letter was reportedly dated November 16 – one day after local fishermen said they first took Mr Chau to the island – and signed ‘Soli Deo gloria’.

Entries in Mr Chau’s journal, also obtained by the Daily Mail, documented his encounter with the tribe, who met him armed with bows and arrows.

He later reportedly wrote: ‘Well, I’ve been shot by the Sentinelese… By a kid probably about 10 or so years old, maybe a teenager, short compared to those who looked like adults.”

The Sentinelese people on the small forested island are known to resist contacts with outsiders, often attacking anyone who comes near.

Visits to the island are heavily restricted by the government and police and anthropologists are now trying to recover Mr Chau’s body.

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Dependra Pathak, director-general of police on India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said seven fishermen have been arrested for helping the missionary visit the island.

Mr Chau organised his visit to the island through a friend who hired seven fishermen for 325 US dollars (£254) to take him there on a boat, which also towed his kayak.

Police said he first went ashore in his kayak on November 15 and sent the boat with the fishermen out to sea to avoid detection.

He interacted with some of the tribespeople, giving them gifts he had prepared such as a football and fish but they became angry and shot an arrow at him.

He swam to the fishermen’s boat, which was waiting for him, and went on to write down his experiences in the journal entries that have since been recovered, then set out again to meet the tribespeople on November 16.

But police said the following day the waiting fishermen saw from a distance his body being dragged by tribesmen.

“It was a case of misdirected adventure,” Mr Pathak said.