Saturday, August 24, 2019

Updated Country Profile - Timor-Leste (East Timor)

Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Timor-Leste (East Timor). Timor-Leste is a small island nation in Indonesia inhabited by 1.3 million people that has a homogeneously Christian population (98% Roman Catholic) with a Portuguese colonial history. This profile underwent a major overhaul due to several significant Church developments, such as the dedication of the country for missionary work by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and assignment of the first senior missionary couple to Dili in 2015, the completion of the first Church meetinghouse in 2017, and the first convert baptisms in 2019. A member group has operated in Dili for four years. See below for the Future Prospects section of this profile:

The Church has established a strong foundation among less than one dozen Timorese members in Dili – all of whom appeared active as of July 2019. Continued mentoring and fellowship of these members by one another and by senior missionaries will likely result in the development of local leadership that can one day sustain an official branch. The reason why the Church continues to lack official government recognition remains unclear as there do not appear to be any legal obstacles that prevent registration. It is unlikely that the Church will experience significant growth until such registration is obtained and young, full-time proselytizing missionaries are assigned. In the meantime, growth will most likely consist of high-quality converts who self-refer for information about the Church or who have personal connections with senior missionary couples or local members. Distance from mission headquarters in Jakarta, a comparatively tiny population, no translations of Church materials in Tetun, and an extremely small Church membership pose long-term challenges for future proselytism efforts through traditional means.

6 comments:

Eduardo said...

Not sure how easy it is to get a visa to go there, but perhaps East Timor would be a good way station for those who are held up by paperwork issues in order to serve in Brazil?
Also, is it true to proseltyze in Brazil a prospective missionary needs a religious certificate like a seminary degree? I heard that recently. Wonder if its true.

Zefu said...

Both of my children served missions in Brazil. Both required seminary certificates and "grade transcripts" for their visa. This was true as of at least 8 years ago so not something new.

Andrew Reed said...

I remember while on my mission in Melbourne, Australia in about 2005 giving a heap of church material to an East-Timorese investigator, he was a university lecturer and had a position in the government. don't know what happened after that.

Johnathan Whiting said...

@Andrew Reed:

Kids in 20 years will probably end up watching a seminary video about him - like we did with Vincenzo di Francesca or Kim Ho Jik. ;P

Eduardo said...

I heard that Vincenzo of Italy never quite had much respect among his fellow Italians. Hopefully the East Timorese guy winds up better among his fellow citizens.

John Pack Lambert said...

What we need is a seminary video about Samuel Chambers. He was a teenaged slave baptized in Mississippi in 1846. The next contact he had with the Church was when he showed up in Utah in 1867 with his wife, sister and sister's family. He made di Francesca and Anthony Obinna look like models of connection to the Church. At least they got letters from Church leaders, Chambers got nothing. He was later made an "assistant deacon" and was very active in the work of the deacons, that is cutting wood. An article on him was published in either the Ensign or New Era in 1975.