Fields Ripe Unto the Harvest #3: East Timor

Written by: Jeffery Brown

East Timor (Timor-Leste) is a country that has, in the past century, been through a ton of conflict, heartache, and wars. During World War II the Japanese killed over 60,000 people on this very small island. For three hundred years they were under Portuguese control, and when they finally gained their independence in 1975 they were invaded by Indonesia seven days later. Over 200,000 people were killed. As the years went on and gorilla warfare became the environment of this island, killing continued.

Indonesia in Focus|Timor Leste Troops
Indonesia in Focus|Timor Leste Troops

Then finally in 1999 the United Nations stepped in and took over East Timor as a protectorate with the end goal of giving East Timor their independence. This did not stop the fighting. There was still much fighting continuing with the pro-Indonesian militia. This is a very small island that can be categorized by violence and death.

Quick Facts:

Population: 1,178,000

Largest city and capital: Dilli- 234,331

Size: 5,743 sq. mi.

Religion: Catholicism- 96.9%

Indonesia in Focus|Dili City
Indonesia in Focus|Dili City

East Timor is a national that is crying out for missionaries. The catholicism is the main religion, brought over by the Portuguese. With only 2% claiming to be any brand of non catholic christian it is in dire need of the gospel. It is a very small island that has been through so much, and generations after generations of people have lived there and have had no chance of hearing the gospel and accepting God’s gift of salvation.

The religious climate in East Timor is very catholic, with little understanding of what the Bible really says. Often times the citizens there associate the minor religions, such as islam and non catholic christianity, as religions of the Indonesian occupational military.

The Lovely Planet|Timorese Men
The Lovely Planet|Timorese Men

During my search I couldn’t find a single missionary that was going to East Timor. This is a country wide open with religious freedom and is needing someone to take the gospel to them. There is a great opportunity presented in East Timor, will you please pray and consider going to East Timor as a missionary?



Jeff is a student at the Our Generation Training Center preparing to take the Gospel to South America. He is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and recently married to MacKenzie.

Leave a Reply

Get Articles in Your Inbox