After John Chau, another American Missionary has been accused of endangering the lies of a remote tribe.
American Missionary, Steve Campbell, a missionary with the Greene Baptist Church in Maine, was stationed in Brazil and is being investigated by FUNAI.
FUNAI is a Brazilian governmental institution that protects the remote tribes living in the Amazon.
American Missionary was charged after he reportedly entered the territory of the Hi Merimã tribe last month.
Hi Merimã tribe is one of a few dozen isolated communities in Brazil and one of the rare ones that have nil contact with the outside world and has in the past rejected any contacts with the rest of the world.
Survival International, an organization advocating for tribal peoples’ rights, says that the American Missionary Campbell could be tried for “genocide.”
While in a statement to Reuters, a FUNAI spokesperson lambasted the actions of this American Missionary actions and said it represents “a case of rights violation and exposure to risk of death to [an] isolated indigenous population. Even if direct contact has not occurred, the probability of transmission of diseases to the isolated is high.”
Just like Chau, Steve Campbell is said to have entered the territory of the remote Hi Merimã tribe after soliciting the help of a local guide who had on a previous occasion worked on an expedition with FUNAI, said Survival International.
American Missionary Steve Campbell, meanwhile, as per reports in Brazilian papers, is allegedly defending himself by stating that he was teaching members of a neighboring tribe, the Jamamadi, how to use GPS, and therefore entered the territory of the Hi Merima Indians to reach the location.
Steve Campbell and his wife, Robin Campbell are listed as missionaries on the website of the Greene Baptist Church. Their work description, as accessed by Currentriggers.com, states that the couple works with the Jamamadi Indians in the Brazilian state of Amazonas and that their work also involves ‘countless other ministry opportunities with the Indians’ and missionary families.
Earlier, after the death of American Missionary John Chau by the highly vulnerable Sentinelese tribe in Andaman and Nicobar, the Indian government had come under fire for the lapses that led to the incursion in the protected area.
Following the furor, India’s National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) had written to Union Home Minister seeking re-imposition of Restricted Area Permit regime in six Islands in Andaman and Nicobar inhabited by Andamanese, Jarawas, Sentinelese, Onges and Sompens.
While American Missionaries have come under scanner for their actions when it comes to endangered tribes, an ex-Missionary found the entire act as nothing but an act of colonization.
Survival International stated that ever since President Bolsonaro’s appointment of an evangelical preacher, Damares Alves, as the new minister in charge of indigenous affairs, it was thought likely that other missionaries will attempt to contact uncontacted tribes despite these isolated people being the most vulnerable humans on this planet.
In a press note, Survival International said:
“Whole populations are being wiped out by violence from outsiders who steal their land and resources, and by diseases like the flu and measles to which they have no resistance. ”
This was the same concern when American Missionary John Chau breached the territory of the endangered tribe in India; that he could bring disease and death to the minuscule and vulnerable Sentinelese.
Stephen Corry, Survival International Director only had this to say on the entire episode:
“Fundamentalist Christian American missionaries must be stopped from this primitive urge to contact previously uncontacted tribes. It may lead to the martyrdom they seek, but it always ends up killing tribespeople.”