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 Jamshedpur

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Diocese of Jamshedpur
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The diocese of Jamshedpur was erected on July 2, 1962, in Jharkhand state. It comprises the district of East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum (excluding the parish of Bandgoan), Saraikela- Kharswan, Dhanbad, a portion of Bokaro district (namely the Chandankiayari Block and the Chas Block) and in West Bengal it covers Purulia district.

The districts of West Singhbhum and Saraikera-Kharswan were formerly part of the archdiocese of Ranchi. The districts of East Singhbhum, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Purulia were part of the archdiocese of Calcutta.

Bishops Lawrence T. Picachy, SJ, (1962-1969) and Joseph R. Rodericks, SJ, (1971 -1996) were the former prelates. Bishop Felix Toppo, SJ, was consecrated on Sept. 27, 1997, as its third bishop. Bishop Felix Toppo appointed as Archbishop of Ranchi on Jun. 24, 2018 and Bishop Telesphore Bilung took the office on Nov. 1, 2021.


The languages of liturgical celebrations in the towns are Hindi and English. In the villages - Ho, Mundari and Santhali are used.


In 1962, at the time of the erection of the diocese only eight parishes existed. In 1964, the parishes of Bandgoan and Anandpur were transferred to the archdiocese of Ranchi.

The majority of the people in the diocese are living in villages which belong to the Hos, Mundas and Santhal tribes. The cosmopolitan towns of Jamshedpur, Purulia and Dhanbad have a floating population which comes for work from all the states of India.

There are approximately 60,000 Catholics in the diocese. There are 146 priests and 318 religious sisters working in the diocese.

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