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John Allen Chau
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Religious Figure
    (circa 1991-November 16, 2018)
    Resident of Washington state
    Adventurer and Christian missionary
    Illegally landed on North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean, hoping to convert the natives to Christianity
    Killed by the natives
    Fishermen who had brought him to the island saw tribe members burying him the next day
    He knew that the island had been declared off-limits by the Indian government and that he was breaking the law.
    On a previous attempt to reach the island, his kayak was damaged by arrows, so it’s not like he had no idea what he was getting into.
    His visit could have had deadly consequences for the native islanders, since they have no resistance to common diseases like the flu due to millennia of isolation from the rest of the world.
    He claimed the fishermen he had bribed to take him to island had been able to avoid the Indian navy and coast guard because ‘God Himself was shielding us.’
    When the natives were unable to understand English, he tried addressing them in Xhosa – a language spoken in South Africa, a mere five thousand miles or so away.
    He whined about the natives, ‘I have been so nice to them. Why are they so angry and aggressive?’
    He wrote in his diary, ‘Lord, is this island Satan’s last stronghold?”
    He had worked at a refugee camp in northern Iraq and with Burmese refugees in Tulsa.
    He brought gifts for the islanders, including a soccer ball, fishing line, safety pins, and scissors.
    He wrote in his diary, ‘Do not be angry at them [the natives] if I get killed.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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