(Newser) – A 20-year-old Utah woman died in a climbing accident in Switzerland, where she served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Annabelle Nielsen was climbing with five other missionaries when she slipped and fell down a steep slope, representative of the Mormon church the word, per Salt Lake Tribune. The exact circumstances are unclear. Nielsen, from Highland, has served with the Alpine German-Speaking Mission since July 2019. He has to serve for 18 months, according to an assignment announcement. together on his Instagram account, per People, meaning that his term of office is almost over. He remains in Switzerland amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We extend our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones,” said spokesman Daniel Woodruff. He added missionaries who witnessed the accident would be provided “with the necessary support as they process what happened.” Neilsen’s family was notified of his death on Tuesday, family spokesman Rodger Lyman of the Highland Utah Central Stake Church told Deseret News, described Neilsen as “an extraordinary young woman… very kind and loving.” “The family is struggling, as anyone is doing, but keeping the faith,” he added. Nielsen has expressed love for his family on Facebook in July Deseret News, adding to his belief that “we can still be family after death … thanks to Jesus Christ.” (Read more climb to death story.)
SI, who works to protect indigenous peoples around the world, has good reason to be upset by the appointment, because Dias himself is a priest and missionary and has close relations with the evangelical New Tribal Evangelical Mission (NTM), now called Ethnos360.
To bring Jesus to indigenous tribes in remote areas of Brazil, Asia Pacific, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.
But reported yesterday (Friday) that a judge – Antonio Souza Prudente – had rejected the appointment of Dias, saying that his relationship with NTM was a “clear conflict of interest” and would make Brazil’s policy of no forced contact with uncontrolled tribal groups in danger. This policy has been in effect since 1988.
Last month Stephen Corry, above, Director of SI, react with anger for the promise of Dias, said:
NTM has a hunting record and contacts that lead to death and illness, sexual harassment in its schools, and carry a deadly epidemic. This establishes a narrow view of religion that many Christians would not recognize. These are the last people who have to be near the tribes that are not contacted, and putting a ‘person in charge’ between them is strange and criminal. The intention is clear to eliminate Indians once and for all.
According to a statement from the regional attorney’s office, the judge was of the opinion that Dias had taken steps that violated the rights of adat groups. She says:
Historically, missionaries have sought to promote contact with isolated indigenous peoples who have recently been contacted to evangelize them, which is contrary to joint policy in Brazil.
SI described the decision as a “big blow to President Bolsonaro,” a Catholic who had the support of conservative evangelicals and called for customary reserves to be reduced in a way that cleared land for commercial mining.
The group said in a statement:
Evangelical missionaries have doubled their efforts to contact uncontrolled tribes under President Bolsonaro, who pushed for legislation to open their land for commercial exploitation, and had strong evangelical support.
Dias said earlier in an interview with O Globo the newspaper said that he did not plan to use his new position to evangelize the indigenous people. He also played the Christian “persecution” card, saying that opposition to his appointment was a form of religious discrimination.
Once at the door, Gabriel said that the people were very friendly.
“They say,‘ Do you want water? Do you want something to eat? “They want to talk to you. They are the most receptive people, very sweet. They are amazing and I love them,” Gabriel said.
While male missionaries, given the title “Elder”, do not have much free time, some of what they use to serve Brazilians.
“I replaced the tile several times, we helped build a number of houses,” Gabriel said.
Gabriel said that he walked about seven miles per day. In addition, he ran sprints and distance to stay in shape. That combined with the fact that he never made it to the weight room in any form caused him to lose 26 pounds while he was there, going from 219 to 193.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be under 200 pounds anymore, but here we are,” said Gabriel, who noted on the positive side that his footwork had improved.
Since he returned home, he has found a way to add muscle and exercise.
“I’ve done some training and I’m quite close to my personal best, about 5 feet away, which isn’t bad, considering,” Gabriel said. “We have cut down many trees, so I have chopped firewood, which is good, and try to eat more protein, because I don’t have any food there. But as coach (Greenwich) Morris reminds me, I have time to get ready for the track in the winter. “
But fortunately among many who don’t think like Jair Bolsonaro, above, is Brazilian judge Fabiano Verli who this week banned a group of Christian missionaries from entering the vast Amazon reserve with the highest concentration of isolated tribes in the world.
Verli cites the risk of a Coronavirus pandemic as one of the reasons.
Indigenous leaders and activists hailed the decision as “historic” and expressed hope that it could prevent the genocide in the Javari valley, a remote reserve the size of Austria on the western border of Brazil.
Said Eliesio Marubo, a native lawyer who sought a verdict on behalf of the association of the Univaja Javanese indigenous community.
Facing this new Coronavirus pandemic we want to guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples to isolation.
The judge referred to a recent article about the vulnerability of remote groups to common diseases that destroyed their population in the past and gave police and army authority to exclude one of the missionaries found in the reserve.
Brazil has so far seen three confirmed Covid-19 deaths among indigenous people.
Specialists from the customary organization FUNAI believe 16 isolated groups can live in the Javari valley. Concerns over their safety surged when a former New Tribal missionary was assigned to handle the isolated Funai adat department.
Verli writes that Tonkin, has been seen in nature reserves and noted “clear indications of cultural assimilation efforts” from isolated groups.
Complaints by indigenous leaders Marubo and Mayoruna were first published in Indonesia O Globo last month. The newspaper reported that Tonkin, from North Carolina – a leader of the Frontier International Baptist missionary group – was planning a trip to the Javari Valley Cultural Reserve near the border with Peru.
Lucas Marubo, head of the Marubo Village Organization, Rio Ituí (OAMI), and a member of the Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley Unit (Univaja), said in this report:
We heard that he was having a meeting, preparing to try to come in again, that he was buying things. They are armed, have drones and GPS … lots of equipment to make contact … this is our fear.
The Javari Valley is larger than the Austrian state and protects the highest number of isolated tribes in the world. Sixteen of the 26 Javanese Valley traditional groups are people who choose to remain isolated.
However, this is the second chance in recent times that evangelical groups have been accused of planning contacts and repentance – Ethnos360 (formerly the New Tribal Mission) has bought a helicopter with a clear purpose in mind.
Isolated indigenous groups have a very vulnerable immune system, which means that infectious viral respiratory diseases such as flu and measles can be deadly. Inserting backup is only currently permitted with special permission from FUNAI.
However, in recent years, deep cuts in the FUNAI budget have helped to produce the officially restricted Javari Reserve. Sharp increases have occurred by fishermen, poachers, drug smugglers, illegal loggers and illegal miners, as well as evangelistic efforts by Christian religious groups. .
Said José Carlos Meirelles, who pioneered the “no contact” policy adopted by FUNAI:
This is truly a disaster. These people don’t care about the natives, they only want their souls, they will really kill them, and some who survive, their culture will be destroyed … That is genocide.
O Globo Tonkin said seen last year trying to make contact with an isolated group of Korubo tribes using airplanes and was preparing for a new expedition. Tonkin denied this, saying it was just “gossip”.
Tonkin’s Facebook page is peppered with comments like this: