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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Archdiocese of Hyderabad

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Archdiocese of Hyderabad
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In a land area of 30,814 square kilometers, the archdiocesan territory covers urban district of Hyderabad, which is also the capital of Telangana, the semi-urban district of Ranga Reddy and the districts of Medak and Nizamabad.

The Hyderabad mission had its beginning in 1646 with the arrival of the Portuguese and became an independent vicariate in 1845.  Msgr Daniel Murphy, an Irish priest, was the first vicar apostolic. The vicariate then had a total population of 12 million and the Catholics were around 4,000. The Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME) missioners were among the first to work in the vicariate.

Pope Leo XIII made a proclamation on Aug. 1, 1886, converting all the vicariates in India into dioceses and making all vicars apostolic residential bishops. Thus, Hyderabad became a diocese and Msgr Peter Caprotti, PIME, became the first bishop of Hyderabad. Hyderabad was raised to the status of an archdiocese on Sept. 19, 1953, and Bishop Joseph Mark Gopu was appointed the first archbishop.


In 2016, the population in the archdiocese is 13,716,000.


Languages used in the territory include Telugu, English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Urdu.


According to government state record, the per capita income is Rs 22,520 ($500). Hyderabad is a major drug manufacturing city, known as the pharmaceutical capital of India. It is also known for its food industry, especially poultry, meat and dairy.

IT firms like Microsoft, Wipro, Infosys, Satyam and Oracle India have offices in Hyderabad. The districts of Ranga Reddy, Medak and Nizamabad produc mainly rice, jowar and maize.


The literacy rate in the archdiocesan territory is 62.75 percent.

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