After John Allen Chau risked the lives of the isolated Sentinelese tribe in the Andamans, another American Christian missionary has now risked the lives of people from an isolated tribe in Brazil.
Brazil’s Indigenous Affairs Department (FUNAI) has accused Steve Campbell, a missionary of Greene Baptist Church at Greene, Maine, of exposing the isolated tribe to possible disease or foreign health risks. It is being alleged that Campbell entered the territory of the Hi-Merimã tribe last month.
Although it is unclear what penalties Campbell will face, Survival International, an organization advocating for tribal peoples’ rights, has claimed that he could even be tried for genocide.
“It’s a case of rights violation and exposure to the risk of death to the isolated indigenous population,” a FUNAI spokesman said in a written statement to Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Even if direct contact has not occurred, the probability of transmission of diseases to the isolated is high.” The department stated that Campbell camped at one of the tribe’s recently abandoned camping grounds.
The missionary may have been emboldened by Brazil’s newly elected Far-Right Christian President, Jair Bolosonaro’s statements during his campaign where he stated that “not one centimetre” would be left for indigenous people and vowed to open up demarcated lands. Bolsonaro also appointed an evangelical preacher as the new minister in charge of indigenous affairs.
As we have reported earlier, Christian missionary organizations zealously believe that every group under the Sun must have a Christian representation for Judgment Day to arrive. We have also documented instances where evangelical organizations were aware that their missionaries were risking their lives but took no action.
As the fate of Chau proved quite evidently and now Campbell’s actions suggest that the fanaticism of Christian missionaries often prove to be as much of a threat to others as it is to themselves.