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 Aurangabad

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Diocese of Aurangabad
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With a land area of 64,525 square kilometers, the diocese covers the civil districts of Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded, Hingoli, Latur, Bhir and Osmanabad in Maharashtra state.

Aurangabad is the biggest city in the diocese. Nanded, Latur and Osmanabad are other important towns.


According to the data compiled in 2015, Aurangabad has a population of 10,383,000.


Marathi, Hindi and English are the most common languages.


The diocese of the Aurangabad was erected on Dec. 17, 1977. Five of its eight districts were taken from the diocese of Amravati, and the other three from the archdiocese of Hyderabad. Together the districts make up the Marathwada region of Maharashtra state.

Father Dominic Abrea was consecrated on April 9, 1978, as the first bishop of Aurangabad. He shepherded the diocese until his demise on May 1, 1987. Father Ignatius D’ Cunha was ordained the diocese's second bishop on April 3, 1989. The third ordinary, Bishop Sylvester Monteiro, auxiliary bishop of Nagpur until his transfer to Aurangabad, was installed on March 25, 1999. He died in office on Aug. 14, 2005. Bishop Edwin Colaco, fourth bishop of Aurangabad and former bishop of Amravati, was installed on Dec. 1, 2006. Bishop Colaco retired on May. 13, 2015 and Bishop Rebello took the office on May. 13, 2015.


Cities are managed by corporations. Villages and small towns are administered by panchayats and municipalities, respectively. These local bodies are elected.


The diocesan area is well-connected by roads and railways. Aurangabad city has an airport.


Annual per capita income is Rs 9,713 ($210) as of October 2009. Agriculture is the leading contributor to Aurangabad's economy. Cotton, millet, sorghum and wheat are the chief crops. Aurangabad is also known for its tourism industry and is home to internationally known tourist attractions, including the Ajanta and Ellora caves.


Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well-covered by local cable TV networks.

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