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Diocese of Khunti

Diocese of Khunti

In a land area of 3, 365 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Khunti civil district.


In Khunti civil district, the population is 971,000 as of 2016. (The population of the whole country is about 20 million). Major tribal groups are Munda, Oraon, Gond, Chick-Baraik, Gorait, Karmali, Lohra, Mahli and Birhor.


Language used in the diocesan territory are Hindi, Sadri, Mundari, Oraon.


The first Catholic Father in Chotanagpur was Father Augustine Stockman SJ whose Church work in this region began in 1868 in Chaibasa. He was the first of the band of valiant Jesuits who toiled to plant the mustard seed of the Gospel in the  Quadrilateral, the four first parishes in the Munda region, over a period of more than 20 years; Bandgaon, Kochang, Sarwada and Dolda, these four, are the fruits of those early labours. The year 1885 saw Father Constance Lievens SJ, the "Apostle of Chotanagpur", settle in Torpa, western part of the Diocese, introducing a different Church work approach with spectacular success as well as painful trials. The tribal Mundas flocked to Torpa, and many mission stations where the message of Christ in word and deed was spread.

Father John Baptist Hoffmann's mission to the Mundas began in 1893. His outstanding contributions lay in his struggle for the land rights of the tribals, the monumental gothic church built at Sarwada, the setting up of the Co-operative Bank to free the people from the tyranny of money-lenders and his invaluable and genius work on Mundari language and culture as seen in his 16 Volume "Encyclopedia - Mundarica" which he worked on after his repatriation to Germany in 1915 as a hostile alien by the British Government.

In 1928 the Archdiocese of Calcutta gave birth to the Diocese of Ranchi. Bishop Louis Van Hoeck SJ, as the First Bishop of Ranchi continued life time efforts to promote the education of the tribals and to lay the foundations of indigenous clergy. This thrust was made more vivid by Bishop Oscar Severin, SJ.

In 1952 Ranchi became an archdiocese in its own right with Archbishop Nicholaus Kujur SJ as its first archbishop. In the four decades since the original Ranchi Archdiocese was established it gave birth to now 16 dioceses, of which Khunti is one of them.

The Diocese of Khunti was established by Pope John Paul II with southern territory taken from the Archdiocese of Ranchi. Khunti Diocese comprises the whole civil Subdivision of Khunti and the Parish of Bandgaon in West Singhbhum district. The Catholic population of the diocese consists mostly of Scheduled Tribes, chiefly Mundas in majority. Bishop Stephen M. Tiru, Bishop of Dumka, was transferred to Khunti on May 12, 1995, as the first bishop of the new diocese.


Khunti has one parliamentary constituency comprising Khunti and Simdega civil districts. Seat was won by the BJP candidate Karia Munda in the last Parliamentary elections. There are three state assembly seats in the diocese - Khunti, Torpa and Tamar. At present Kunti and Torpa seats are with BJP and Tamar seat is with Jharkhand Party.


Transportation mode in the region is road transport.

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