Explore the Oldest Dioceses in South Asia

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

It is believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle,
who is said to have reached the Malabar Coast of Kerala in 52 AD.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when
Portuguese missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

History of a few oldest dioceses in India as the cradle of Indian Christianity
can be dated back to the 15th century.

Find out which is the first diocese in India here.

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Archdiocese of Bhopal

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Archbishop Alangaram Arokia Sebastian Durairaj
Archbishop  Durairaj
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Archbishop Alangaram Arokia Sebastian Durairaj
Archbishop's House,
33 Ahmedabad Palace Road,
Bhopal-462021, M.P., India

Phone: (0755)254.08.29
Fax :254.47.37
Email: [email protected]

Archbishop Alangaram Arokia Sebastian Durairaj, SVD, was born on May 3, 1957, at Thirunagar in the diocese of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. After attending elementary school in the hometown and in Madurai, he joined St. Charles Seminary in Tiruchirapalli for the Society of the Divine Word in 1971. He completed his pre-university course while he was in St. Charles Seminary. He was ordained priest on May 8, 1985, at Thirunagar, Madurai. Thereafter, he served at Meghanagar (Jhabua) and was co-pastor at Jhabua (1985-1987). He also served as the procurator of SVD Vidhya Bhavan, Bhopal (1987-1988) In 2005, he was elected provincial superior of SVD central Indian province and was re-elected in 2008. He has been appointed bishop of Khandwa diocese by Pope Benedict XVI on May 11, 2009, and was ordained on July 16, 2009.

On 4 Oct 2021, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Sebastian Durairaj as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Bhopal.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Archbishop Leo Cornelio (15 Jun 2007 Appointed - 4 Oct 2021 Retired)
  • Archbishop Paschal Topno, S.J. Emeritus (1994-2007)
  • Archbishop Eugene D'Souza, M.S.F.S. (1963- 1994)

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