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Explore South Asia's ancient dioceses

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

St. Thomas the Apostle, who is believed to have arrived on Kerala’s Malabar Coast in 52 AD, is considered the father of the Catholic faith in India.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when European missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The history of a few ancient dioceses in Asia can be dated back to 13th century pre-Portuguese mission expeditions.

Find out the oldest diocese in India here.

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Diocese of Xiamen

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Bishop Joseph Bingrui Cai
Bishop Cai
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Bishop Joseph Bingrui Cai
Our Lady of Rosary Church, Xiamen City,
Fujian Province, China

Bishop Joseph Cai Bingrui was ordained Bishop of Xiamen (Amoy) Diocese with papal approval and government recognition at the Our Lady of Rosary Church in Xiamen City on May 8, 2010.

Bishop Cai was born to a Catholic family in 1966. He entered the Sheshan seminary in Shanghai in 1985 and was ordained a priest in 1992. A year later, he took on the leading role in the diocese, as there were only two young priests after Bishop Joseph Huang Ziyu of Xiamen, the first Chinese bishop of Xiamen, and a few elderly priests died over the years.

The then Father Cai served as diocesan administrator from 1996. He was elected unanimously as the bishop candidate in June 2009. The last Vatican-appointed bishop of Xiamen was Dominican Bishop J.B. Velasco from 1948 until his resignation in 1983. He was followed by Chinese government-recognized Bishop Joseph Huang Ziyu from 1986-1991.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Manuel Prat Pujoldevall, O.P. (1916-1947)
  • Isidoro Clemente Gutiérrez, O.P. (1899-1915)
  • Ignacio Ibáñez, O.P. (1893-1893)

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