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From John Chau to Captain Cook: The fatal attractions of Missionaries and other Colonising Zealots Part One – John Chau’s Folly.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 00:00;
Recent news reports have covered the dramatic story of a young, idealistic American man, John Chau; a Christian missionary, who while attempting to bring his particular brand of faith to a remote, off-limits tribe, was killed by the very people he was trying to save. The case aroused considerable international interest and controversy. Highlighting as it has, the plight of remote, uncontacted peoples and the potential dangers such encounters raise for these tribes. It would appear that his misplaced enthusiasm for evangelising blinded him to the risks that he, as an outsider, posed to the peoples of North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Archipelago. Contact with such tribes poses a very real and immediate threat to their continued existence, wherever they are found, as they have no immunity to the diseases of the outside world. In previous encounters, even the common cold has been responsible for wiping out large portions…