Ancient tribe on the brink of being wiped out by Christian missionaries

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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/22/anci...TTvLhGYL6XDB0IXzvxwkYasHaQCA_M7btVWyGezpalqlY

How would you answer this?

My first (sarcastic) thoughts: What a shame that cannibalism, infanticide, tribal war, child marriage, and rampant disease and malnutrition are being eradicated. Such a travesty that many of their children now survive to adulthood, and many can now read and write, and clan warfare/witch killings have ceased. They were so much better off on their own!

BELOW IS THE CONTENT OF THE ARTICLE:
"An ancient tribe that knows little of the world outside their rainforest home is close to being wiped out by Christian missionaries. Amateur photographer Maxim Russkikh, 36, from Moscow, Russia, spent 15 days trying to find the Korowai people of south eastern Papua New Guinea. As they trekked more than 75 miles into the forest they came across many abandoned Korowai settlements, and could only find two in the massive expanse of jungle.

There are only around 3,000 Korowai remaining and Maxim thinks their way of life is being stamped out by Christian missionaries and the Indonesian government who wish to force their culture upon them. He said: ‘Korowai also known as Kolufo – is the mysterious tribe of south eastern Papua who lives in the least explored jungles in the world and has had little contact with the outside world.

Christian missionaries, who have been making contact with tribes for five hundred years, are still trying to do so today. ‘Korowai have managed to survive in the harsh environment of the rainforest over thousands of years keeping its traditional culture alive. And it seems like right now they are disappearing day by day.

‘They are surrounded by the dozens of missionary villages supported by the Indonesian government with the only purpose to introduce the western culture and spiritual values. ‘Hundreds of Korowai have moved already from the jungles to newly constructed missionary settlements and more are coming.’ ‘The missionaries think that the tribes are primitive and living pitiful lives in the dark and their ultimate aim is to convert them to Christianity.’ Maxim added: ‘There are less than a hundred uncontacted small tribes around the world and they need to be protected by international law.

‘Uncontacted tribes are the most vulnerable people on earth, especially in West Papua, and they need to survive.’ ‘The first documented contact by scientists took place in 1974. Korowai people are generally hunter-gatherers, they must share everything they hunt or gather in order to survive including the living space.

Korowai people live in clans that usually consist of two to three tree houses in one forest cleared site, securing the territory of up-to 50 sq km. Usually from five to eight people live in the tree house at one time. ‘Korowai are skilled hunters and are sometimes away from their homes for days, hunting for rats, pigs, birds and fish. The staple for their prey consists of sago and bananas. ‘After the sago palm is harvested and split by men, the heart of the sago palm, which produces a starchy substance, is washed and kneaded or beaten by the women to get the sago flour.’"
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
‘There are less than a hundred uncontacted small tribes around the world and they need to be protected by international law.

‘Uncontacted tribes are the most vulnerable people on earth, especially in West Papua, and they need to survive.’

That’s stupid, as if “uncontacted-ness” were the most important trait a society could possess. As you said, they could be the most murderous, barbaric cannibals, but if they are “uncontacted,” oh, they must never be touched so as to preserve their purity, as it were.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
If you start with the "noble savage" assumption that, of course, people are better off without the gospel and without Christ, then you will end up writing articles like that one.

The thoughts you wrote down are actually a helpful response, I think, though you probably do need to drop the sarcastic tone. Many people simply do not know what evils and suffering go on in many of the world's more primitive places. They imagine that life is idyllic, because that's the popular storyline.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Also, I have occasionally pointed out that there are non-Christian and liberal thinkers, like Nicolas Kristof of the NY Times, who have visited such places and have seen for themselves the good done by Christian missionaries. Having actually seen life in those places and made the effort to learn about it, they stop badmouthing missionary efforts—if they have the courage to speak the truth.

I have a liberal-leaning in-law, a fan of the noble savage idea who's always looked at me suspiciously when I mention my missionary upbringing, who changed her tune a bit after I showed her one of Kristof's op-eds.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Where is this 'force' that the journalists are complaining about? Is there any evidence of conversion by the sword?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Also, I have occasionally pointed out that there are non-Christian and liberal thinkers, like Nicolas Kristof of the NY Times, who have visited such places and have seen for themselves the good done by Christian missionaries. Having actually seen life in those places and made the effort to learn about it, they stop badmouthing missionary efforts—if they have the courage to speak the truth.

I have a liberal-leaning in-law, a fan of the noble savage idea who's always looked at me suspiciously when I mention my missionary upbringing, who changed her tune a bit after I showed her one of Kristof's op-eds.
Any links to those articles?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Where is this 'force' that the journalists are complaining about? Is there any evidence of conversion by the sword?
I suppose we unfairly "entice" them with hope of education, new hope of health, peace from constant fear of fighting and fear of spirits, and better nutrition. I entered the area only upon the invitation of the tribe and the regional church body.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm paywall-limited in the number of times I can bring up NY Times articles. But if you search his name along with "missionaries" and maybe "Africa," you should be able to find several articles. His interest is in Africa and on health crises there, so most of the material is in that vein.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
James Cook and his crew spent a few weeks on Tahiti in order to observe the transit of Venus in 1769. During their stay they shared just about everything with the locals, from coconut milk to women. While the Europeans did not care much for the Polynesian habit of stealing everything in sight, in general their experience on Tahiti all fit rather well with the then-current ideas of an idyllic and primitive society, uncorrupted as Europe was by the blight of advanced civilization.

Then, just as Cook's men were leaving, they stumbled upon a mound of skulls.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I’ll not hold my breath for the 10000 word multipart expose’ from the Times about how cultural Marxism is ruining huge swaths of Christianity...but I derail...
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
There are a number of interesting books out now showing that the first Missionaries to New Zealand (some were Reformed) had a genuine spiritual interest in the Maori, as well as their well being. It was later secular European settlers who stole Maori land, causing grievances that are still an issue today. Thus in a New Zealand context at least, Missionaries have done tremendous good. http://www.rcnzonline.com/fnf/backissues/Jun_2010.pdf
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Junior
If you do not believe that man has an immortal soul, but is pretty much an animal evolved from animals, and that there is no Judgment Day, then you can believe that not spoiling his "natural" state, but letting Darwinism run it's course, would be good. What the article is seeking to do is really to take away their humanity. Better to observe from afar these scientific curiosities than to acknowledge them of one blood with us, and to have to tell them of the wrath to come and the Savior of sinners.
Sadly because of all the damage done in the past by well-meaning but heavy-handed missionaries (not everyone was like Hudson Taylor), and by careless colonists and prospectors, these "let the natives be" people have some ammo to level against modern missions.
But Travis, you can count it all joy when men shall revile you and speak evil against you for Christ's sake. They did it to Him; they did it to His prophets; He said they would do it to us as well.
 

jw

j
The concept's not really too different here in our "civilized" nation (and others).

They would stamp out that pesky singularness and exclusivity of the true religion (Christianity), such that men would be free publicly to trample the Lord's precepts, proclaim its absurdity (in their perception), decry its requirements (calling such things captivity, brainwashing, etc.), all the while, promoting their soul-murdering religions (self, atheism, every other thing except Christianity) under the guise of Freedom of Religion. They would call the Lord's prohibition of such a thing, damaging to men's "freedom," that it would surely diminish their livelihood (when, in reality, it only serves to cement their eternal damnation).

The public allowance of such soul-murdering proclamation works itself out in such great irreligion (as we see in these United States) that people are free to identify as things they are not, are permitted to decry their offendendedness when others don't love their self-misidentification and their offendedness, or calling the slaughter of the unborn choice, or _____________ (fill in the blank with whatever egregious public sin that is protected by "law" in this "great nation").

No surprise here.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
A white privileged photographer and his white privileged side kick journalist deciding for the jungle people what they should and shouldn't have or where they should or shouldn't live. Mansplaining to the rest of us how things are or are not done in the jungle. See, there is a use for leftist speech sometimes :D.

But seriously. The writer of the article sounded like she was describing the habitat, feeding ritual, etc of an animal on the brink of extinction via over hunting, climate change, and loss of habitat. I found her words super insulting towards this group of people. She acts like they are brain dead idiots who can't decide for themselves what they want for their lives and the fact that these horrible Christians can come along and snatched them away from all they love just shows how they are such fragile people who don't have brains.

What did she want them to do? Stay in the jungle so she could send photographers and journalists who would observe them living in their uncivilized culture? Does she really expect them to live under those conditions instead of choosing for themselves a better life both physically and spiritually so that she could have a weekly post about their lifestyle?
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Also, the tribe now does not go "native" as portrayed in the photographs. Even in most remote clans there are some artifacts of the modern world. Some item of clothing. A metal pot. Plastic string woven into their ears. Hopefully a mosquito net (ikely one I have given them) hanging in their homes. But in the article not a single scrap of the modern world is seen. I suspect he staged the photographs to make them sensationalistic and leave out how the tribe truly lives (mixed between their old and new way of living, a hybrid). If his goal was to get likes on Instagram then he succeeded, but if his goal was to portray a representative picture of how the tribe as a whole lives today, then he failed and his photographs are evidence of tampering with the environment to "stage" a better photoshoot.
 

Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
Check out "FIRST CONTACT: Lost Tribe of the Amazon". It's a recent documentary that also deals with these issues (albeit from a secular point of view). The anthropologist in the documentary desperately wants to make contact with the tribe, but the local government prohibits this by law.
When at last he does make contact, the sick can be treated, etc. One of the members of the tribe comments at the end that they are grateful that someone reached out to them. Amongst the reasons that he gives, are medicine, proper shelter, etc, but also clothing because they don't like to be naked.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Check out "FIRST CONTACT: Lost Tribe of the Amazon". It's a recent documentary that also deals with these issues (albeit from a secular point of view). The anthropologist in the documentary desperately wants to make contact with the tribe, but the local government prohibits this by law.
When at last he does make contact, the sick can be treated, etc. One of the members of the tribe comments at the end that they are grateful that someone reached out to them. Amongst the reasons that he gives, are medicine, proper shelter, etc, but also clothing because they don't like to be naked.
Whoa! Just what I am looking for. Thanks. The same with my tribe. They appealed and begged for such things to help their hard lives.

In fact, just to my east the two sub-tribes there got into a war and people were injured because the missionary picked one tribe to live amongst and not the other.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
"...on the verge of being wiped out..." actually means something like "cultivating a healthier way of life."
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
A white privileged photographer and his white privileged side kick journalist deciding for the jungle people what they should and shouldn't have or where they should or shouldn't live. Mansplaining to the rest of us how things are or are not done in the jungle. See, there is a use for leftist speech sometimes :D.

But seriously. The writer of the article sounded like she was describing the habitat, feeding ritual, etc of an animal on the brink of extinction via over hunting, climate change, and loss of habitat. I found her words super insulting towards this group of people. She acts like they are brain dead idiots who can't decide for themselves what they want for their lives and the fact that these horrible Christians can come along and snatched them away from all they love just shows how they are such fragile people who don't have brains.

What did she want them to do? Stay in the jungle so she could send photographers and journalists who would observe them living in their uncivilized culture? Does she really expect them to live under those conditions instead of choosing for themselves a better life both physically and spiritually so that she could have a weekly post about their lifestyle?

It is pure injustice that this board will not let me click on multiple reaction icons at once.
 
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