Charles Darwin’s support of Christian missionaries

Posted in Blog, Christianity

During the last 15 years of his life, Charles Darwin became a supporter and donor to the South American Missionary Society (SAMS). He had become an admirer of Christian missionary work during his voyage on the Beagle, having first encountered the Yaghan Indians of Tierra del Fuego in 1832 and being struck by their ‘savage and wild’ appearance and uncivilised ways. Darwin’s lifelong friend, Rear Admiral Sir James Sullivan, a member of the SAMS committee, kept Darwin regularly updated with news of missionary activities and his committee selected Darwin an honorary member of the missionary society. Darwin sent his final annual subscription to SAMS a few weeks before he died with a cover note that commented, ‘Judging from the Missionary Journal the Mission on Tierra del Fuego seems going on wonderfully well.’

You can read more (and about Darwin’s supposed ‘loss of faith’) in my open letter to Richard Dawkins ‘Letter to an Influential Atheist’ which is available on Amazon.