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 Raigarh

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Diocese of Raigarh
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The population of the area was 1,265,084 at the end of 2002.


Chhattisgarhi, Oraon, Sadri, Hindi and English are in use.


The diocese was erected on Dec 13, 1951, by dismemberment of the neighbouring Ranchi and Nagpur dioceses. Bifurcating civil district of Sarguja from Raigarh diocese, Ambikapur diocese was created in Dec. 1977. Bifurcating civil district of Jashpur from Raigarh diocese, Jashpur diocese was formed on March 23, 2006. Jashpur civil district was created in 1999, bifurcating it from Raigarh civil district.

Prior to the formation of the Jashpur diocese, Raigarh diocesan headquarters was located at Kunkuri, a small town in Jashpur district. After the bifurcation of the Jashpur diocese, the headquarters at Kunkuri was moved to Jashpur diocese, about 45 km away from Jashpur district headquarters. After the bifurcation of the Jashpur diocese, the Raigarh diocesan headquarters are located in Raigarh town.. Many Oraon Catholics from the neighbouring Jashpur diocese have migrated to here for employment.

The neighbouring dioceses are: Raipur, Jashpur, Ambikapur, Raurkela and Sambalpur.

Former prelates were: Oscar Severin S.J. (1951 - resigned in 1957); Stanislaus Tigga (1957 - 1970);. Francis Ekka (1971-1984);  and Victor Kindo (1985 - transferred to the newly formed Jashpur diocese in 2006).


The diocesan territory covers a land area of 8,354 square kilometers and includes the entire Raigarh civil district. Major towns are Raigarh, Sarangarh, Kharsia, Gharghoda, Leonga and Dharamjaigarh.There are six tahsils in the diocese.


Villagers mostly depend on farming. They cultivate paddy. Jindal Steel Company is established here.

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