Dili (Agenzia Fides) - Promotion of human dignity, social inclusion and religious education are the three priorities of the pastoral plan and mission for the years 2019-2023 in the Church of East Timor. As Agenzia Fides learns, 50 leaders and pastoral operators, lay people, nuns and Jesuit missionaries and their collaborators held a seminar in recent days in East Timor to elaborate the fundamental course of actions and goals of the presence and mission of the Jesuits in the nation.
"In order to achieve the objectives of the evangelical mission, Catholics are called to work in collaboration with the local government, working to promote human dignity, social development and strengthen religious education at all levels, to work for the common good", says the Jesuit Fr. Violanthus Soares. One of the important aspects is "to accompany the development and growth of youth, which represents the future of the country and society", said Karen Yao, a youth leader.
East Timor has suffered greatly due to political instability in recent years, after the country's struggles for independence from Portugal in 1975 and then from Indonesia in 2002. "Another effort is therefore the work for reconciliation in society", a harbinger of social, economic and religious well-being, said the Jesuit Herculaneum Moniz.
East Timor with 1.2 million inhabitants, 98% Christians, became the second Catholic country in Asia (after the Philippines), a legacy of its status as a former Portuguese colony.
The main religions are Catholicism (97%), Protestantism (1%) Islam (1%). The country has three Catholic dioceses: Dili, Baucau and Maliana. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 18/6/2018)