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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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Apostolic Prefecture of Kompong-Cham

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Apostolic Prefecture of Kompong-Cham
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Kompong-Cham was established as an apostolic prefecture by the Holy See on Sept. 26, 1968.

The seven provinces -- Kompong-Cham, Kratie, Stung Treng, Rattanakiri, Mondolkiri, Svay Rieng and Prey Veng -- belong to the prefecture, with Monsignor Andre Lesouef as its first apostolic prefect.

Church properties were destroyed and many priests and lay Catholics were killed during the civil war in Cambodia from 1970 to 1979.

The prefecture has 3000 Catholics out of a total population of 5,763,685, and has 14 priests in its 27 parishes.

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