Sir, Catherine Scott of the Catholic Institute for International Relations is wrong to dismiss outright a religious motive for the persecution of East Timor's Catholic majority by Indonesia (letter, April 23).
The primary motivation for the invasion of the territory in 1975 was to gain access to its oil and as such was economic, not political, as Ms Scott asserts. But since the occupation, Muslim Indonesians have been moved into the territory in a deliberate attempt to Islamicise East Timor and legitimise the occupation.
Anyone with any experience of the region will tell Ms Scott that Christians face a daily struggle against the state in Indonesia and neighbouring Malaysia, where planning permission for new churches is delayed or refused or at worst churches are burnt down by the police. And those who attempt to convert a Muslim in these countries risk life imprisonment.
Yours faithfully, JOE SPEED London Ni