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Archdiocese of Imphal

Archdiocese of Imphal

In a land area of 22,356 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers covers the entire State of Manipur which is bounded by Nagaland in the North, Mizoram in the South, Upper Myanmar in the East and Cachar district of Assam in the West.

Imphal is the biggest city in the diocese. Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong, Chandel, Churachandpur, Thoubal, Bishnupur are other important towns in the diocesan area.


In Imphal Archdiocese, the population is 2,850,000 is the total population as of Census 2016. (The population of the whole country is 20 million). Ethnic groups are classified into three general categories: The Meiteis; the Kuki-Chin tribes and the Naga tribes


Over 35 languages are spoken in the archdiocesan area. The main languages are Manipuri, Mao, Tangkhul, Maram, Poumai, Hmar, Moyon, Maring, Monsang, Anal, Mizo, Rongmei, Paite, Kuki, Zou, Thadou and English.


The American Baptists began a successful mission in Manipur in 1908 among the hill tribes of Manipur and the missionaries had no permission from the Maharajah of Manipur to work among the Meiteis. One of the outstanding pioneer missionary was William Pettigrew. The first Catholic priest, Father Ansgar Koenigsbaver, SDS, a German Salvatorian missionary looking after Assam Mission, came to Manipur in the year 1912. He found 19 Catholics, 17 of whom belong to the band of the regiment which was stationed here. The Maharajah of Manipur told Father Ansgar that he had no objection to the opening of a Catholic Mission in Imphal, the capital of the princely State. Due to the limited resources and personnel the opportunity to evangelize Manipur could not be realized.

Thirty six years later, two Salesian missionaries, Father O. Marengo, SDB, and Father Attilio Colussi, SDB, who were working in Guwahati, Assam, visited Imphal. On meeting the Maharajah they were told: "You (missionaries) are welcome to Manipur. I am a former pupil of St. Edmund's School, Shillong." He gave them permission to enter Manipur and operate their mission in the hills of Manipur. This implied that they were not to work in the Valley, which had been dominated by the Hindu Vaishnavites and some pockets of Muslims. The Missionaries visited Ukhrul, a hill station in the east, on that occasion.

The organized work of evangelization in Manipur actually began with the erection of the Diocese of Dibrugarh in 1951, with Bishop O. Marengo, sdb, as Manipur was drawn within his ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Every year Bishop Marengo visited Manipur and pushed the work ahead with the co-operation of the burning zeal of the laity.

The Catholic faith among the Tangkhuls, one of the first hill tribes to accept the faith, was brought by Mr. Dominic Shomi, former pupil of St. Anthony's School, Shillong, and Mr. George Hongrei, former student of Don Bosco School, Guwahati. In 1952, Father


The City is managed by Corporation. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called Panchayats and municipalities respectively.


The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads. The nearest airport is in Imphal city.


India Rupees 17,950 (USD387 as of January 2010) is the per capita income in the archdiocese territory. Farming especially Paddy cultivation is the biggest occupation. Maize, beans, oranges, sugar cane and yam are also widely cultivated in the diocesan area.


Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan territory. The diocese is well connected by local cable TV networks.


59.89 per cent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.

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