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 Sindhudurg

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Diocese of Sindhudurg
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Total population in the diocese was 6,200,500 in 2017. Konkani are the major ethnic groups.


Marathi, Konkani and English are the languages used in the diocesan territory. The main language of the Catholics is Konkani.


Sindhudurg district is the southern part of the greater tract known as the 'Konkan'. It is historically famous for its long coastline and safe harbors. Sindhudurg district was part of the Ratnagiri district, but for administrative convenience and industrial and agricultural development Ratnagiri district was divided into Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts with effect from May 1, 1981. Sindhudurg district now comprises talukas of Kudal, Malvan, Devgad, Kankavli, Sawantwadi, Dodamarg and Vengurla carved out from Ratnagiri district and the new taluka of Vaibhawadi, created by transfer of 53 villages from Bavda taluka of Kolhapur district.

The word 'Konkan' is of Indian origin and of considerable antiquity, though the origin of the name has never been sufficiently explained.


The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called Panchayats and municipalities respectively.


The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads and railways. The nearest airport is in Panaji in Goa.


The area of the Sindhudurg diocese is 21,090 square kilometers, consisting of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts and Kolhapur district (leaving out the city of Kolhapur) which consists of the talukas of Ajra, Gadhinglaj, Panhala, Budhargad, Kagal, Radhanagri and Shahuwadi. It is a suffragan of Goa archdiocese since Nov. 25, 2006. Earlier, the diocese was a suffragan of the archdiocese of Bombay. Sawantwadi is the biggest town in the diocese. Ratnagiri and Malwan are other important towns in the territory.


Per capita income in the diocesan territory is Rs 15,569 ($335) as of October 2009. Fishing and farming are the major occupations in the area.


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


Nearly 77.42 percent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.


The people in the new diocese have Goan culture because they migrated from Goa 200 years ago. The customs and traditions are Goan and entirely different from those of the people of Pune and urban cities.

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