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Mon Mar 23, 2020, 10:27 PM

The isolated tribes at risk of illness from Amazon missionaries

Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro

Mon 23 Mar 2020 03.00 EDT Last modified on Mon 23 Mar 2020 12.07 EDT

Aradical group of evangelical Christian missionaries set on converting every last tribe on Earth has raised fears that deadly diseases – and even the coronavirus – will spread in the Brazilian Amazon. The group has based its newly bought helicopter right beside a reserve with the world’s highest concentration of isolated indigenous groups, who have little resistance to common illnesses.

. . .

“This virus is a potential killer that could easily wipe out the whole community,” said Adam Mol, a Polish doctor who worked with remote tribes in the Javari Valley.

. . .

“He literally accepted killing some of them with the excuse of bringing them God’s word. That’s literally how these people think,” Mol said.

Evangelical Christians have extended their influence in Brazil under the country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who increasingly relies on their support and has a history of racist remarks about indigenous people, calling those living on protected reserves “prehistoric”.


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