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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Archdiocese of Raipur

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Archdiocese of Raipur
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Raipur archdiocese covers 60,814 square kilometers and has a population of 17,783,000 as of 2017.


Languages used here include Hindi, Chhattisgarhi, Oriya, Oraon and English. The literacy rate is 63.6 percent for males and 29.5 percent for females.


Raipur was established as a prefecture by Pope Paul VI on January 16, 1964, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Nagpur comprising the districts of Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur.It was entrusted to the Southern German province of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines) in 1951. On July 28, 1964, it was made a prefecture as suffragan to the archdiocese of Bhopal. The Bastar district in Madhya Pradesh was detached on June 16, 1966, from the diocese of Vishakapatanam and attached to the prefecture.  Bastar  district was separated from the Raipur prefecture on the March 23, 1972.

Raipur was erected as a diocese on July 5, 1973, comprising district of Bilaspur,Durg, Raipur and Rajnadgaon. With the formation of Chhattisgarh state on Nov. 1, 2000, the diocese Raipur was raised to the status of archdiocese and Bishop Joseph Augustine Charanakunnel was installed as the first archbishop on March 18, 2004 with Ambikapur, jagdalpur ,jashpur and Raigarh as its suffragan diocese.

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