Ordained a bishop in 1983. As spiritual leader of a territory that is overwhelmingly Catholic, he became one of the primary spokesmen of the people of East Timor. He denounced the brutal tactics and oppressive policies of the Indonesian government despite at least two attempts on his life, in 1989 and 1991. A strong believer in nonviolent resistance, Belo sought peaceful means to settle the troubles in his homeland. In 2004 he began serving as a missionary in Mozambique.