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EAST TIMOR: Catholics committed to ecumenism and education

“There is great hope for the future of evangelization in East Timor but it is always necessary to strengthen the faith of our community,” said Salesian Bishop Virgilio do Carmo da Silva, Diocese of Dili, East Timor.

The island of Timor is divided in half: the western part belongs to Indonesia, the eastern part is a state which became independent in 2001, separating from Indonesia. East Timor has a population of about 1.2 million (of whom 96.5% are Catholics and 2.5% Protestants) divided in the three dioceses of Dili, Baucau and Maliana and is configured as East Timor. It is the Asian country with the highest percentage of faithful.

In August 2015, the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of East Timor in Dili signed an agreement that provides for the recognition of the juridical personality of the Church and its institutions and guarantees the Church the freedom to carry out its mission in favor of the Timorese population. In 2016, this agreement was ratified.

Among the needs present in the young Timorese society is the development of the education sector.


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