Cape Town — An American missionary with ties to South Africa has been killed by a remote Indian tribe after he illegally ventured onto their island home. John Allen Chau, 27, was met with a volley of arrows as he set foot on North Sentinel Island, part of the Andaman Islands deep in the Indian Ocean according to a KATU report.
Chau, an adventurer who traveled much of the globe was often in South Africa to support the Ubuntu Football program in Cape Town where he helped raise funds and befriended Ubuntu players who went to the U.S. to study. On their website, Ubuntu Football Program describe themselves as "a non-profit, professional soccer academy born in response to a crisis of fatherlessness in South African society, character and leadership development through football".
Chau's family have since responded to the reports.
"Words cannot express the sadness we have experienced about this report," his family said in a statement posted to Chau's Instagram account. "He loved God, life, helping those in need, and had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people".
Rights watchdogs and Christian organisations from all around the world took to social media to offer their condolences to the family.
The International Christian Concern, a U.S.- based nonprofit that aims to fight persecution against Christians, called the death concerning.
South African Journalist Esther Rose says "this guy was really misguided and should have got the message when an arrow was shot through his Bible".
"Chau should have paid attention to the laws regarding the island and noted why it's isolated in the first place. Religious mission aside, the Sentinelese tribe also has no immunities to modern viruses and bacteria so even if he survived his encounters with the islanders, there's no guarantee that they would have as well if he was successful," says allAfrica's Andre Van Vyk.
But not everyone has been sympathetic to the young man's tragic ending...
The story of Chau's death makes Šūtur Eli Šarrī angry - and he thinks Chau deserved worse than his tragic demise.
"Oh god. This story makes me so angry. The fucking nerve and audacity of this asshole. This is not a tragedy... Not at all. He was a genocidal asshole and I wish worse had happened to him. Death just is not enough". Let me tell you why.
"#JohnAllenChau what a guy!!! Belongs to a country so obsessed with privacy. But forgot the basics of it. "He wanted to tell the #Sentinelesetribe about Jesus", but now he is gone to tell jesus about the #Sentinelesetribe. Foolish.