Protestant Church in Timor Lorosa'e
This is the former Christian Church in East Timor which changed its name in 2000 when Timor Lorosa'e became independent. The church was established in 1988. It is not related directly to any missionary work in the past. The church was gradually formed by individual Protestant Christians among the East Timorese, who constituted small groups in the capital Dili and other places. After the occupation by Indonesia (in 1975) it spread all over East Timor. These groups decided to form an organization, to facilitate their common ministry. In 1979 the decision was taken to found a coordinating body called Protestant Church in East Timor, as a prototype of a synod, and in 1988 the synod was established.
Currently the church is involved in leadership training and on-going education of its pastors, to enhance their effectiveness and improve their pastoral skills. In the villages the emphasis is on the training of lay pastors and evangelists in the rural context, through intensive biblical studies, theology and ethics. Instruction is provided by faculty of the Christian University in Kupang. Some of the lay pastors will become candidates for ordination. The church provides also scholarships for young people in order to develop human resources for the future. It has a foundation to assist local congregations and communities. Another important programme is training of women, to enable them to fully assume their responsibilities in the family, the church and the community. The church has organized reconciliation meetings in many of its congregations. One of its pastors is a member of the National Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation. The church is taking a lead in the formation of a Council of Churches in Timor Lorosa'e. It has excellent working relationships with the Roman Catholic dioceses of Dili and Bacau. It is also developing important relationships with churches in neighbouring Indonesian provinces, particularly West Timor and Tanah Papua.