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Slain US Man Had Been Training to Meet Sentinelese Tribe Since College, Reveals Missionary Group

Christian missionary group All Nations said that John Allen Chau had been a missionary since 2017 and had undergone training to 'share the gospel' with the North Sentinelese tribes.

Aniruddha Ghosal | News18.com

Updated:November 30, 2018, 12:08 PM IST
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Slain US Man Had Been Training to Meet Sentinelese Tribe Since College, Reveals Missionary Group
John Allen Chau, an American national, was been killed and buried by the Sentinelese tribe. (Reuters)
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New Delhi: A day before the Andaman and Nicobar police said its investigation found "nothing to indicate that he was a missionary" in its report to the union government, the Kansas-based Christian missionary group All Nations issued a statement claiming that Chau had been a missionary since 2017 and had been training to "share the gospel" with the North Sentinelese tribes since college.

Deepender Pathak, DGP, Andaman and Nicobar Police, had informed the MHA on November 22 that John Allen Chau, who came to Port Blair on November 16 got killed at North Sentinel Island "during his misplaced adventure in the highly restricted area while trying to interact with the un-contacted people who have a history of vigorous rejection towards outsiders."

The police found that churches in the area had no idea of his presence, nor was any religious material found from his belongings. As per officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, "His social media profile was scanned and his contacts/friends in Andaman spoken to, post which police have informed the MHA that it does not appear he was a missionary."

On November 21, less than 24 hours before the report was sent to the MHA, All Nations uploaded its statement on its website. Mourning the death of one of its missionaries, 27-year-old John Allen Chau of Vancouver, Dr Mary Ho, group’s International Executive Leader, said, “All Nations is deeply saddened by this news and wants to publicly express deepest sorrow for this monumental loss.”

Based in Kansas City, US, All Nations describes itself as an "international Christian missions training and sending organisation committed to preparing Christians to share the gospel and establish churches in parts of the world where the name of Jesus Christ is little or not known."

Ho added, "We have been in contact with John’s family and ask all to join us in praying for his family and friends during this time. We have been in contact with the U.S. State Department and continue to cooperate fully with all international, national and regional officials.”

The organisation described Chau as a "seasoned traveller who was well-versed in cross-cultural issues" and had "had previously taken part in missions projects in Iraq, Kurdistan and South Africa" after joining the organisation in 2017 and training in its North American headquarters at Kansas City. "He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University (ORU) who had studied, planned and trained rigorously since college to share the gospel with the North Sentinelese people," it says.

The All Nations chief added, "We remember how throughout the church history, the privilege of sharing the gospel has often involved a great cost. We pray that John’s sacrificial efforts will bear eternal fruit in due season."

According to sources in the Andaman and Nicobar Police, the 'lack of evidence' stemmed from a red herring in the form of Chau's biography in his Instagram account where he described himself as "Following the Way."

This led to initial conclusions and news reports that he was a member of The Way International — a biblical research, teaching and fellowship Christian ministry based in New Knoxville, Ohio.

However, Bryan Mittler, Public Relations Coordinator of the Way International told News18.com that it had "no record" of Chau. "The Way International recently learned of the death of John Allen Chau in the Andaman Islands.  Chau was not a member of The Way International and we have no record of him participating in any of our educational services or our programs.  We offer our prayers and sympathy to his family and loved ones," Mittler said.
| Edited by: Divya Kapoor
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