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Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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Diocese of Dumka

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Diocese of Dumka
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In a land area of 14,356 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Sahibganj, Pakur, Jamtara, Deoghar (excluding Deoghar, Mohanpur and Sarawan blocks) and Rampurhat sub-divion in Birbhum district in West Bengal.

Population

In 2016, there are 4,332,000 people in the diocesan territory and 163,100 of them are Catholics. Ethnic groups are Santhals, Bengalis, Paharias, Oraons, Muslims, and Hindus.

Language

Languages used in the diocesan territory are Hindi, Bengali, Paharia, and Oraon.

Political

India is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary form of Government. India follows a parliamentary form of democracy and the government is federal in structure. In Indian political system, the President is the constitutional head of the executive of the Union of India. The real executive power is with the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. 

Jharkhand follows a unicameral system of government i.e. it has only one house - the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) consisting of 82 members, out of whom one is nominated from Anglo Indian Community and 81 are elected members. 

There are four Vidhan Sabha seats in Dumka Diocesan territorial area namely, Dumka, Jama, Jamtara, and Sarath. Out of the four Jharkhand Assembly Constituencies no Catholic member is elected from the Diocese. 
Jharkhand has 14 seats in the Lok Sabha - the Lower House of Parliament. Dumka is one of the Parliamentary Constituencies which fall under the Diocesan territory which is currently occupied by Shri Shibu Soren of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Not a single Catholic candidate has ever contested for Lok Sabha seats from the Diocese. 

The state is headed by a Governor, who is appointed by the President of India. However, the real executive power rests with the Chief Minister and the Cabinet. At present Sri Arjun Munda is the Chief Minister. The political party or the coalition of political parties having majority in the Legislative Assembly forms the Government. The main political parties are Jharkhand Vananchal Congress, Marxist Coordination Committee and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. 

The administrative head of the State is called Chief Secretary, under whose jurisdiction a hierarchy of officials drawn from the Indian Administrative Service/State Civil Servic

Transportation

Road and railway are common in the diocesan territory.

Economy

The annual percapita income in the diocesan territory is Rs.23, 361 ($515) as of February 2011. 

Major industries are steel, sericulture, and tourism.

Telecommunication

Mobile phones are common in the diocesan territory. Radio station in the territory is All India Radio, Ranchi.

Education

Literacy rate in the area is 82 percent among men and 72 percent among women.

Culture

The state has ebullient festivals like Sarhul, Sohrai, Karma, Christmas, Id, Holi and Dushahra.  Tribal communities have their unique festivals. Folk music and dances are part and parcel of the tribal culture. People sing and dance in open places according to seasons.

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