Religion is very important in Timorese culture and our churches hold some of the country’s most vibrant celebrations. To our people, churches represent community gathering, respect, personal betterment, and of course a devotion to God. We have Protestant and Catholic churches and inhabitants of our island primarily belong to one of these two groups. Visitors on worship days will be treated to the melodic singing of community members coming together to partake in activities. Walking through the village guided by singing echoing off of our beautiful landscape is not something you are likely to forget!
The majority of the population on the island (roughly 65%) consist of Evangelical Church of God Assembly.The initial Assembly of God’s church is in Bikeli, right in Pala Hamlet. Cana Galileia is the major Evangelical church located in Vila. There are also small churches in each villages and hamlets.
Catholicism was introduced in 1940 through a mission under the parish of Balide, which conducted monthly visit before establishing a school and a permanent priest in 1948. Twenty-one people were baptized as the first Catholics on the island 1951, for which a monument was dedicated in Beloi. The main Catholic church is in Vila as the center of parish. There are chapels in the villages and hamlets too.
We invite you to attend any of our public services, especially our regular Sunday ones. Please dress appropriately and act culturally sensitive and respectful. Our religion is important to us and we trust you will respect it. It would be a pleasure and a joy to welcome you into our community to worship with us.