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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 Tianjin

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Bishop Melchior Hongzhen Shi
Bishop Shi
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Bishop Melchior Hongzhen Shi
Catholic Mission,
Laosikai, Tianjin,
Hebei, China

Bishop Melchior Shi Hongzhen of Tianjin was born on January 7, 1929. He was ordained priest on July 4, 1954. Bishop Stephano Li Side of the underground church, on June 15, 1982, secretly ordained Father Shi Hongzhen and another priest as Coadjutor Bishops of the Diocese of Tianjin. Melchior Shi Hongzhen succeeded Bishop Li Side, to become the Bishop of Tianjin on June 8, 2019.

Previous Ordinaries:

  • Bishop Shi Hongchen of the open Church community (1982 Ordained; March 3, 2005 Died)
  • Father Alphonsus Tchao, C.M. (Apostolic Administrator, Feb 13, 1953 Appointed)
  • Bishop John Zhang of Zhaoxian, C.M. (Apostolic Administrator of Tianjin, 1951- Feb 13, 1953)
  • Bishop Jean de Vienne de Hautefeuille, CM (July 12, 1923 Appointed - June 14, 1951 Retired; Sept. 21, 1957 Died)
  • Bishop Paul-Marie Dumond, CM (April 27, 1912 Appointed - July 21, 1920 Resigned; Feb. 19, 1944 Died)
  • Bishop Stephen Side Li (-)
  • Bishop Melchior Hongzhen Shi (-)

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