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Diocese of Khulna
Diocese of Khulna

The Diocese of Khulna was canonically erected on January 3, 1952, as the Diocese of Jessore, with parts taken from the Archdiocese of Calcutta (presently Kolkata) and the Diocese of Krishnagar in India.

Population

The total population of 2016 was 16,671,400. Bangla and English are used in the diocesan territory.

History

The Foreign Missionaries of Milan (PIME) had begun their apostolic work in this region in 1855. Father Antonio Marietti, PIME, reached Jessore in 1856. The Salesian missionaries worked in this territory from 1927 to 1952.

On June 14, 1956, the Episcopal See was transferred from Jessore to the large city of Khulna and since then it has been called the Diocese of Khulna.

The newly created diocese was entrusted to the St. Francis Xavier Foreign Mission Society (SX), popularly known as the Xaverian Fathers.

Iswaripur, which is south of Satkhira town, is of special historical interest. The first ever Christian Church, dedicated by the Jesuits on January 1, 1600, was located at this place. The church had the title, "The Church of the Holy Name of Jesus"; nothing of this Church remains now.

There was no other Christian Church in the area comprising the present Khulna Diocese until the arrival of the PIME missionaries in 1856. The first Church was at Jessore (1856). Other early churches are those at Shimulia (1859), Bhabarpara (1866), Malgazi of Shelabunia Parish (1870) and Khulna city (1873).

Political

There is no separate political structure in the diocesan territory. There are parliament seats in Khulna. Citizens elect their representatives to those seats, and no serious disruption of democracy has ever occurred. Minorities can vote and take part in politics without any pressure. The people of Khulna also elect their mayor for the Khulna city corporation.

Transportation

Khulna is connected to all parts of the country by land, and to some extent by air. Buses, trains, launches and private vehicles are the main modes of transport. People reach Jessore via airplanes, then by bus to Khulna. Roads and highways connect the city to towns and to rural areas of the diocese.

Geography

The diocese covers a total land area of 28,236 sq. km. It comprises 12 civil districts of Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Jessore, Jhenidah, Norail, Magura, Faridpur, and part of Gopalganj. The Sundarbans (Bangla-Sundarban) delta, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is situated in Khulna. It lies at the mouth of the Ganges and is spread across areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal in India, forming the seaward fringe of the delta.

Economy

The per capita income of the diocesan territory is $476. Jute products, cement and fish trade are the main industries. The main agricultural products are rice and jute.

Telecommunication

There are many cell phone service providers, in addition to government and private land phone service providers. Cell phones are popularly used.

Education

The overall literacy rate of the diocesan territory is 43.1 percent. Bangla and English are used in the diocesan territory. The total population in 2016 was 16,671,400.

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