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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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Diocese of Qingdao

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Bishop Thomas Tianhao Chen
Bishop  Chen
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Bishop Thomas Tianhao Chen
Catholic Mission,
Qingdao, Shandong,
China

Msgr Thomas Chen Tianhao was appointed bishop of Qingdao (Shandong) on Nov. 29. 2020.

His Episcopal ordination took place at cathedral of St. Michael which was presided over by Msgr. Fan Xingyao of Linyi, president of the National Chinese Patriotic Association.

Many high-ranking members of the Patriotic Association attended the ceremony as newly ordained himself was president of the Patriotic Association of Qingdao, and since 2010 he has been a member of the Standing Committee of the National Patriotic Association.

According to experts, this appointment would be the first episcopal ordination to take place following the modalities prepared in the Provisional Agreement between China and the Holy See.

He succeeds Msgr. Giuseppe Li Mingshu, who died in June 2018.

Bishop Chen Tianhao was born in Pingdu (Shandong) in 1962. He studied in the Holy Spirit seminary in Shandong and in December 1989 was ordained a priest.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Joseph Mingshu Li (13 Aug 2000 Ordained Bishop - 15 Jun 2018 Died)
  • Bishop Han Xirang, OFM (1988- 1992)
  • Bishop Augustin Olbert, S.V.D. (1948-1964)
  • Bishop Faustino M. Tissot, S.X. (1946- 1991)
  • Cardinal Thamos Tien Ken-Sin, S.V.D. (1939- 1967)
  • Bishop Georg Weig, S.V.D. (1928-1941)

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