I have known two missionaries, one in person and one through books, who ministered to primitive tribes who were killing each other off, the first by cannibalism and headhunting, the second because that tribe’s only way of dealing with any wrong was murder. This latter tribe was the Waodani, formerly known as the Aucas (an outside name given to them, not their name for themselves) of Ecuador. In the documentary Beyond the Gates of Splendor they told anthropologists that they had been almost down to two people before the missionaries came. Why would even any non-Christian want to see a whole people group extinguished due to infighting or disease? Especially these days when we clamor to save the spotted owl and other endangered species? Shouldn’t endangered people be at least equally as important as endangered animals?
Would anyone in their right minds really want such practices as burying a widow along with her husband or killing twins or deformed babies to continue? So many primitive tribes practice these kinds of things.
Why deny these people the choice of hearing that there are other ways? Why not allow them to hear the gospel and let them make their own choice? So many who bask in the multitudes of freedoms we have here in the US would rather keep people like this in darkness in the name of preserving their culture. Most missionaries I know of these days consciously and conscientiously try not to “Americanize” the native churches but rather try to respect their culture and form churches within that culture while introducing healthier ways of living and civil practices. Who could possibly have a problem with that?