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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Diocese of Meixian

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Diocese of Meixian
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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Meixian/Kayíng/Meizhou is a diocese of the Catholic Church which is headquartered in the city of Meizhou, in the ecclesiastical province of Guangzhou in China.


  • February 20, 1929: Established as the Apostolic Prefecture of Jiaying from the Apostolic Vicariate of Shantou
  • June 18, 1935: Promoted as Apostolic Vicariate of Meixian
  • April 11, 1946: Promoted as Diocese of Meixian


Meizhou has a humid subtropical climate, with short, mild, overcast winters and long, very hot, humid summers. The monthly daily average temperature in January is 12.6 °C (54.7 °F), and in July is 28.9 °C (84.0 °F). From April to June, rainfall is the heaviest and most frequent. Though striking typhoons do not affect the area as much as the coast, the mountainous topography means that flooding is a serious concern.


Meizhou is located in the northeast of Guangdong Province, bordering Fujian Province in the northeast and Jiangxi Province in the northwest. The complex geological structure was formed mainly from granite, spouting rocks, metamorphic rock, shale, sandstone, red rock and limestone. Its administrative area ranges in latitude from 23° 23' to 24° 56' N and in longitude from 115° 18' to 116° 56' E, covering an area of 15,836 km2 (6,114 sq mi).

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