MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, EAST TIMOR – The Democratic Republic of East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste, is estimated to have a population of 1.1 million as of the 2015 census. Approximately 99% of the people in Timor-Leste adhere to Christianity, with 97.57% being Catholics and 1.96% Protestants. Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism are minority religions in this country. However, the locals are generally familiar with Muhammadiyah.
According to Ipolito Soares, the Chairman of the Muhammadiyah Special Branch (PCIM) of East Timor, Muhammadiyah has made significant contributions that have led to many East Timorese people studying at Muhammadiyah universities and accessing health services at Muhammadiyah hospitals. As a result, they have become familiar with this movement.
“Alhamdulillah, the people of Timor-Leste generally know Muhammadiyah because they sent their children to study at Muhammadiyah universities in Indonesia. They also recognized Muhammadiyah due to the numerous Muhammadiyah hospitals,” said Ipolito.
The establishment of the Muhammadiyah Special Branch (PCIM) of East Timor in 2022 is evidence of Muhammadiyah’s recognition among the locals. It took place in Alor Village, Dom Aleixo, Dili, East Timor, just before the 48th Muktamar (Muhammadiyah congress) in Solo in November of the previous year.
The Central Board of Muhammadiyah, then, officially approved the establishment of through Decree Number 196/KEP/I.0/B/2023. Subsequently, the Central Board of Muhammadiyah appointed the members of the Muhammadiyah Special Branch (PCIM) of East Timor through Decree Number 197/KEP/I.0/D/2023 on their roles for the 2023-2025 period.
Muhammadiyah’s presence in East Timor has been eagerly awaited by various stakeholders. As an Islamic movement focusing on social development, Muhammadiyah has received requests from East Timorese officials to actively participate in initiatives that promote welfare.
“The Muslim community in East Timor expressed their desire for the establishment of the PCIM, while the leaders of East Timor also have sought Muhammadiyah’s involvement in the development of our country, particularly in education and health,” said Ipolito.
Shortly, the PCIM of East Timor will conduct meetings with various institutions to discuss potential collaborations. The initial step involves local government before pursuing broader programs. Ultimately, the PCIM of East Timor aims to establish a hospital.
“The PCIM of East Timor aims to establish at least one Muhammadiyah hospital in Timor-Leste. It will become our primary medium of preaching,” said Ipolito.
“We humbly request the prayers of the Central Board of Muhammadiyah and all Indonesian Muslims. May the services of Muhammadiyah bring benefit to all of humanity. Specifically, we seek intellectual and financial support for Muhammadiyah’s internationalization programs.”
The following is the organizational structure of the PCIM of East Timor for the 2023-2025 period:
|Vice Chairman||:||Muslim Maumoto|
|Secretary||:||Marlim Da Silva|
|Assistant Secretary||:||Risna Afriliani|
|Treasurer||:||Ahmad Fuad Fernandes|
|Assistant Treasurer||:||Nurjannah Ribeiro|
|The Muhammadiyah Council for Tarjih Council||:||Marlim Da Silva|
|The Muhammadiyah Council for Education||:||Luis Amaraldo Rego|
|The Muhammadiyah Council for Health||:||Dr. Rusli Ali Hosman|
|The Muhammadiyah Council for Community Economic Empowerment||:||Nurbaiti Pereira and Syamsul Bahri Ribeiro|