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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Diocese of Guntur

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Bishop Bhagyaiah Chinnabathini
Bishop Chinnabathini
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Bishop Bhagyaiah Chinnabathini
Bishop's House,
Chandramouli Nagar,
Guntur-522007, A.P., India

Phone: (0863)2350.255
Fax :2351.234
Email: [email protected]

Pope Francis on June 25, 2016, appointed Father Bhagyaiah Chinnabathini as the new bishop of Guntur diocese.

A priest of Nalgonda diocese in the neighboring state of Telangana, he was born on Sept, 19, 1956, at Motakondur-Yadagirigutta Mandal.

He was ordinated priest May 3, 1983, after his philosophical and theological studies at St. John’s Regional Seminary in Hyderabad.

He has a master’s degree in literature from Osmania University, Hyderabad.
He served Nalgonda diocese and abroad in various capacities and later also served in Germany as chaplain at Herford (1994-1995).

Back in his diocese, he became director of the Kolping Centre and was in charge of the Diocesan Youth Centre. (1995-2002).

Subsequently, he was appointed parish priest of St. Joseph’s Church, Kodad (2002-2003); assistant parish priest in a parish in England in (2003-2005); parish priest in a parish Germany (2006-2007); parish priest at St. Mary’s Church, Hannover, Germany (2007-2011).

Since 2011, Chinnabathini has been parish priest at the Infant Jesus Shrine di Miryalaguda, dioceses of Nalgonda.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Gali Bali (1984-2016)
  • Bishop Mariadas Kagithapu (1977-1983)
  • Bishop Bala Shawry (1974-1977)
  • Bishop Ignatius Mummadi (1943-1974)
  • Bishop Thomas Pothecamury (1940-1943)

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