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 Eluru

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Diocese of Eluru
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The diocese of Eluru was bifurcated from the diocese of Vijayawada on Feb. 26, 1977. It comprises civil district of West Godavari and four mandals of Konaseema in East Godavari district. The diocese faces the Bay of Bengal in the south, the river Godavari in the east, the diocese of Vijayawada in the west, and the diocese of Khammam in the north.


In Eluru diocese, the total population was 8,860,000 as of 2016 end.


The main language is Telugu. There are also tribal dialects like Kui of the Koyas. The predominant tribal group in the region are the Koyas.


The two major parties are the Indian National Congress and Telugu Desam Party.


The general means of transportation are public buses and railway.


The diocesan territory stretches over 10,755 square kilometers and covers the civil district of West. Godavari and four mandals (administrative areas) of the district of East. Godavari. (There are 60 mandals in East. Godavari district.)


The per capita income of the diocesan territory is Rs 12,929 ($278) as of February 2007. There are no major industries in the area. The main crops are paddy, tobacco, sugarcane and chilies. Coconuts are also grown in the region.


Telecommunication services are widespread. There are no TV or radio stations in the region.


Popular art forms like Burra Katha and various forms of dances are attractions at major festivals. Tribal dances are also popular.

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