In a land area of 16,579 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the entire state of Nagaland in Northeastern India. Kohima is the Capital and Dimapur is the biggest city in the diocese.
In the diocesan territory, the population is 1,978,502 at the end of 2019. Nagas are the major ethnic groups. They are divided into various tribes: Angami, Rengma, Zeliang, Kuki, Kacharis, Chakhesang, Pochury, Ao, Konyak, Phom, Khiamniungan, Chang, Yimchunger, Sangtam, Lotha and Sumi.
Diocese of Kohima shares international border with Myanmar. The inhabitants, belonging to the 16 major tribes and other sub tribes of Mangoloid race, are collectively called Nagas. Each tribe is unique with its own dialect, customs, traditions, attire, etc.
The history of Christianity began in Nagaland with the American Baptists stationed in Upper Assam extending their mission into the hills. By 1905, there were about 500 Christians among Nagas.
The mission of the Catholic Church in Kohima began in December 1948, when the Sisters of Missionaries of Christ Jesus along with Monsignor Emmanuel Bars, SDB, arrived in Kohima. They arrived on the request of the then governor of Assam, Sir. Akbar Hydari.
There were strict restrictions on evangelization.
The initial Catholic contacts in Nagaland took place at another end of the state simultaneously. That was at Lakhuti, bordering the state of Assam. A group of Lothas invited Catholic priests from Golaghat Mission to open a mission at Lakhuti. There was opposition from villagers against the Catholic priests.
Within short span of time, the heroic beginnings lead to tangible results that witnessed the creation of separate diocese for the states of Nagaland and Manipur
The Catholics of Nagaland and Manipur were under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Dibrugarh until 1973, when the diocese of Kohima-Imphal was erected comprising the states of Nagaland and Manipur with Abraham Alangimattathil, SDB, as its first bishop.
In 1980, the diocese was further bifurcated with the formation of the Imphal diocese comprising the state of Manipur.
The Church in Nagaland is now blessed with over 62,533 believers and a committed team of over 600 missionaries.
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 moderately connected in terms of transport infrastructure. The only airport is in Dimapur which is 74 kilometres away from Kohima. The sole railway station in the diocese also is in Dimapur.
Per capita income in the diocese territory is Rs 78,367 ($998) as of April 2020. Industries like sugar mill and bamboo factories are also operational. Agriculture is the main occupation. Rice, maize and chillies are grown.
Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well connected by National TV networks.
Nearly 79.55 percent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.