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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 Hamhung

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Religious Congregations, Societies and Institutes

Religious Institutes of Men

  • The Benedictines administered the Hamhung apostolic vicariate. But they were all arrested or dispersed by communists in the North in 1949. Among them, some dispersed Korean Benedictines fled to the South, but 12 German priests and 12 German brothers were repatriated to Germany by the communists in 1954. The Benedictine order was resettled in Waegwan in the South in 1952 under the leadership of Monsignor Timothy Bitterli, who was appointed apostolic administrator of Hamhung apostolic vicariate and Tokwon Territorial Abbacy by the Vatican. The Benedictine order in the South was approved by the Vatican in 1955.

Religious Institutes of Women

  • The German Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing served from 1925, and 18 of the German nuns were repatriated by the communists in 1954. Seventeen Korean nuns who fled to the South settled in Daegu in 1951 and opened the first convent there in 1952. The repatriated German sisters returned to South Korea from 1955 onward.

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