Historically, missions have been religious communities used to spread belief in Christianity to local indigenous populations. Missions often also had charitable functions: providing medical help, food, shelter and clothing to those who asked for it, and secular as well as religious education. Funding for missions was provided from donations from individuals within the sponsoring denomination, possibly augmented by local, regional or state government.
Catholicism's support for the Spanish missions in the Americas played a key role in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Catholic mission communities commonly consisted of churches, gardens, fields, barns, workrooms, dormitories, and schools. They were often located near a good water supply to support the local population.
Christian missions in Australia played a part in both helping to preserve Aboriginal people's culture and languages, and in controlling their movements and removing children from families, leading to the Stolen Generations. German missionaries ran Lutheran and other mission stations and schools, from the earliest days of colonisation of Australia. One of the largest organisations was the United Aborigines Mission, which ran dozens of missionaries and stations in Western Australia, New South Wales and South Australia in the 1900s.
In Dutch CatholicismEdit
During the time of the Holland (Batavia) Mission (1592–1853), when the Roman Catholic church in the country was suppressed, there were neither parishes nor dioceses, and the country effectively became a mission area in which congregations were called "stations" (staties). Statie, usually called a clandestine church in English, refers to both the congregation's church and its seat or location.