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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 Kurnool

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Diocese of Kurnool
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In a land area of 43,000 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers civil districts of Kurnool and Anantpur.

Population

In Kurnool diocese, the population is 8,229,916 at end of 2016. Most residents are ethnic Telegus.

Language

Telegu is the language used in the diocesan territory.

History

On June 12, 1967, with the appointment of Bishop Joseph Rajappa, the first bishop of Kurnool, the diocese was formed. The French Jesuits worked in these areas in the 1700s.

Three French Jesuits are buried at Krishnapuram in Anantapur district. After the withdrawal of Jesuits in 1773 the Paris Foreign Missionary Society took over the Church work. For the last 70 years, the Mill Hill Fathers have evangelized these areas. The Franciscan Fathers also labored in the western parts of the diocese for some time.

Bishop Joseph Rajjapa, Bishop Mathew Cheriankunnel, Bishop S. A. Arulaiah and Bishop G. Johannes initiated many developmental activities in the fields of evangelization, education, health and social development. Many religious congregations of men and women have taken up activities in these fields.

Political

The towns are managed by municipalities. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called panchayats and municipalities.

Transportation

The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads and railway. The nearest airport is in Hyderabad city.

Economy

Per capita income in the diocese territory is Rs 19,472 ($398). Sunflower, maize cultivation is the biggest occupation.

Telecommunication

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

Education

Nearly 54.67 percent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.

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