catechists. As a result of his efforts, by the end of the eighteenth century, after 140 years of official Dutch efforts to suppress Catholicism, there were still an estimated 67,000 Roman Catholics on the island.
The Dutch East India Company by its renewed charter of 1623 had made provision for the promotion of the Protestant faith, and the company set up a seminary in Leyden, which trained missionaries for service in the Dutch possessions in the east. After their occupation of Ceylon, they set up a Protestant ecclesiastical structure, and restricted all official employment to Protestants, and in some cases confiscated the property of those refusing Protestant baptism. In 1722, there were said to be nearly 425,000 Protestant Christians in Ceylon, though most of these were nominal; indeed, they could hardly be other than nominal, as in 1747 there were only five Protestant ministers on the whole island. The British seized the coastline of Ceylon from the Netherlands in 1796, and formally annexed the island in 1815. The British occupation was followed by the arrival of representatives of the main British missionary societies - the London Missionary Society in 1804, the Baptist Missionary Society in 1812, the Wesleyan Methodists in 1814, and the Church Missionary Society in 1817.
The Christian mission on the island of Timor in the East Indies began in the mid-sixteenth century. The Timorese had been always animists, with a vague monotheism. The Franciscan, Antonio Taveira, arrived in 1556 and began a preaching mission. The Dominicans came in 1562, and took the lead in evangelizing the island, concentrating on converting local rulers, who then became vassals of Portugal. By 1577, there were an estimated 50,000 converts. The Dominicans effectively ruled the island for over a century, without interference from civil or military authorities.
The Dominicans built their first church in 1590 at Mena and later they set up churches on the neighbouring islands of Sawu, Adunara, and Flores. As the faith advanced in Timor, it became linked in matters of jurisdiction both to the vicar-general of the Dominicans at Goa and to the Bishop of Malacca. In the first quarter of the eighteenth century, the Dominicans encountered the first serious challenge to their predominance on the islands of Timor and Solor. A Portuguese royal order of 25 March 1722 declared that Jesuits attached to the provinces of Goa, China and Macau would also be allowed to work in Timor. Another order of 10 March 1723 recommended that the Oratorians of the Miraculous Cross in Goa should be permitted in Timor. On 8 October 1738 a seminary was established under the Oratorians' care in Timor for the training of local aspirants to the priesthood. Not until 1812, however, did the Dominicans' temporal power in Timor begin to wane. In 1834 the suppression
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