East Timor is a small country comprising of mainly middle class citizens that lies in Southeast Asia. The populations of East Timor are God fearing people, with the Roman Catholics faith being dominant.
The country has been through many difficulties whilst gaining its independence from Indonesia.
Today as East Timor is striving to cope with the rest of the world after its country had been devastated by Indonesian troops along with anti-independence militias which led to the United Nations intervening and taking control over the country.
As independence came along, East Timor moved ahead and today is the sovereign state where the majority of its people practice the Roman Catholic religion along side a few percentages of Protestant Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. There are also some old practices still being followed which involve animistic thinking.
In modern day times the government of East Timor has an open mind towards religion, where anyone has the freedom to practice what ever religion they choose. Although the population wanted to formulate Catholicism as their national language, the Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo was not in the favor of the same and requested the members of the Constituent Assembly to vote against it, where the church stands in total separation from the state.
As Catholicism is the leading religion of East Timor, most of its designated public holidays like Good Friday, Assumption Day, Easter, All Saint's Day, Christmas and Day of the Immaculate Conception are on the list of holidays.
The religion aspect of East Timor has plenty to show, till 1975 the locals of East Timor were animists who later joined the Roman Catholic faith which was introduced to them by the Portuguese. In the beginning there was only around 30% of the population that practiced the Roman Catholic faith, which has now grown to nearly 90% of the people.
Today as Roman Catholics dominate, the Church along with its bishops, priests and other personal are highly respected, they are the only institute that is able to function officially. It is well known that people often flock to this institute to seek sanctuary and comfort. The Protestant Christians have mainly come up the ranks through the high post personal who served the Indonesian army.
Muslims who form the next highest number of religious community are mostly Arabs and troops from Indonesia who had migrated to the country to do business. As there is a building force of Muslims, Islam is today being viewed as a challenge in the eyes of the Roman Catholics. Mosques are being raised up in plenty where like Indonesia the Muslims are slowly growing popularity.
With regards to religious disputes, there have been cases of Protestant churches and mosques being attacked and destroyed, but all these were normally sorted out through dialogue and general apology. In most cases the Roman Catholic Church intervened and even rebuilt some of the damaged places of worship. Like most other countries, religion does play an important role in the country, and East Timor is no exception to the rule.