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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Eparchy of Faridabad

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Eparchy of Faridabad
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The territory of the Syro-Malabar Church comprises the eparchies in Kerala and certain areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states in South India.

Outside its territory, the Syro-Malabar Church has 10 eparchies in India. Faridabad is the 16th diocese erected outside Kerala for Syro-Malabar Catholics.

The diocese comprises the national capital of Delhi, states of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and districts of Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and union territories of Jammu and Kashmir.

The diocese has 950,000 square kilometers of area.


Hindi, English and Malayalam are in use in the diocesan territory.


The pastoral care of the Syro-Malabar faithful in the archdiocese of Delhi was formally begun in 1991. Father Sebastian Vadakumpadan was designated by the Syro-Malabar Episcopal Commission for the pastoral care of the Syro-Malabar Catholics outside Kerala and was appointed chaplain of the Syro-Malabar Catholics in the archdiocese of Delhi by Archbishop Alan de Lastic on June 1, 1991.

Syro-Malabar pastoral care aims at bringing all groups of faithful under the same umbrella according to the teachings of the Vatican Decree on Catholic Eastern Churches

Father Vadakumpadan began celebrating Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Delhi from 1991 onwards. The archdiocese of Delhi encouraged him to carry out his mission. Father Sebastian began organizing holy Masses in the Syro-Malabar rite in different centres.

The archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly was generous enough to supply priests each time as per need.

To have a uniform Syro-Malabar pastoral care in the whole archdiocese, a Syro-Malabar Central Committee was formed.

Under the leadership of the priests and nuns, the community began undertaking various activities such as working men's and women's hostels, nurseries, dispensaries, educational institutions and homes for the disabled, street children and orphans.

The archdiocesan synod, held in October 2002, was a turning point for the pastoral care of Orientals in the archdiocese.

Pope Benedict XVI erected the new diocese of Faridabad of the Syro-Malabars and appointed Bishop Mar Kuriakose Bharanikulangara.

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