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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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Archdiocese of Lanzhou

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Activities and Organizations

Major Diocesan Commissions and Organizations

  • Church museum:
    Church museum to help young Catholics appreciate the work of early missioners
    Location: Compound of Songshuxiang Songshuzhuang Church
    Wuwei (300 kilometers northwest of Lanzhou)

Catholic Educational Institutions

  • School for Catholic and non-Catholic children:
    The diocese built a school for Catholic children in the settlement and non-Catholic children in surrounding villages

Catholic Social Welfare

  • Orphanage:
    According to the Lanzhou Diocese website, the orphanage was set up in 1994, with 40 babies in the beginning. Due to the state one-child policy and rural people’s favoring male descendants, there were many baby girls and handicapped children left in streets and outside the church. Seeing these abandoned children, Bishop Yang established the orphanage to accommodate them. The Holy Family Sisters are managing the orphanage. In 1998, some nuns were sent to learn skills from Catholic orphanages in the country.

    In 2004, Bishop Han rebuilt the orphanage in Yongfengtan, officially opened on May 3, 2006.

    Over the past 15 years, the orphanage has accommodated 118 orphans, of whom more than 20 had died of diseases and other reasons. More than 70 have been adopted by people in Gansu, Hebei, Henan and Shanxi. Now there are 17 orphans living in the orphanage, mostly with physical or mental disabilities, aged between 1 and 20.

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