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 Baroda

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Diocese of Baroda
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Baroda is the anglicized version of Vadodara.  Baroda diocese was appended to the archdiocese of Bombay until it was established as an independent diocese in 1966. The diocese is home to the largest number of indigenous people in Gujarat, locally known as Adivasis.

French Capuchins set up a parish and a friary here way back in 1639. The diocese also takes pride in producing the first indigenous priest, who was ordained in 1953. Because this is predominantly a tribal belt, there are several forms of inculturation. One of them is Korvi Mata, a statue of the Blessed Mother that has been sculpted in the same way as the Black Madonna. Vadodara, known as the cultural capital of Gujarat, is noted for its public buildings, palaces and Hindu temples. The area had an 82 percent literacy rate as of 2001, high by Indian standards.


Besides tribal languages, Gujarati, English, Marathi, Konkani, Malayalam and Tamil are spoken in the diocesan territory.


The diocese is spread over 40,365 square kilometers and covers the districts/areas of Bharuch, Dahod, Dangs, Godhra, Narmada, Navsari, Surat, Vadodara and Valsad.

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