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.
Roman Catholic Churches
There are two Roman Catholic Churches on Ataúro island: one in Vila Township and the other in Beloi. The services start at 08.00am and 10.30am every Sunday. The music and singing in the church service are vibrant. Since the church is the hub of the communities, locals welcome any visitors. Please note that very few […]
Protestant Church (Assemblies of God)
More than sixty-five percent of Ataúro people are Protestant (Assemblies of God). They were evangelized by a Dutch Calvinist mission from Alor, Indonesia in the early 20th century. The Protestant service starts every Sunday from 09:00am. Similar to the Catholic churches, visitors are welcome.