Wheaton College to Change Wording on Jim Elliot’s Memorial Plaque Referring to Waorani Tribe as ‘Savage’

The sign on the campus of Wheaton College display’s the Illinois evangelical institution’s motto. | Wikimedia Commons/Christoffer Lukas Müller

Wheaton College announced its plan to rephrase dehumanizing wording included on a plaque honoring Christian martyr Jim Elliot and the four missionaries killed by the Waorani people in Ecuador due to “pejorative” language referring to the tribe as “savage.”

In a letter sent to students, faculty and staff last Wednesday, the Illinois-based evangelical higher education institution’s president, Philip Ryken, said some individuals recently expressed concerns that the language on the plaque was offensive.

“Specifically, the word ‘savage’ is regarded as pejorative and has been used historically to dehumanize and mistreat indigenous peoples around the world,” Ryken said in the letter obtained by The Christian Post. “Any descriptions on our campus of people or people groups should reflect the full dignity of human beings made in the image of God.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Emily Wood