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Diocese of Krishnagar

Diocese of Krishnagar
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In a land area of 8,640 square kilometers, the diocesan territory, located in West Bengal state, covers two civil districts of Nadia and Murshidabad. Major cities are Krishnagar, Berhampur and Kalyani.

Population

In Krishnagar diocese, the population is 11,591,600 in 2016. Most of the people are lower middle class. The major ethnic groups are Bengalis and Santal tribals.

Language

Bengali and Santhali are the languages spoken in the diocese.

History

The Augustinians and the Jesuits were the first Catholic missionaries to arrive in this region in the 17th century. They established a center at Berhampur in 1620. The first Catholic community was formed at Krishnagar by Portuguese Carmelite Father Thomas Zubiburu, who had come there in 1845 from Chittagong. Since Father Zibuburu was forced to withdraw from there due to illness, the municipality took over the chapel he had built and converted it into a dispensary. The Milan Fathers (PIME) arrived to work there in 1855. Father Luigi Limana claimed the chapel and the Catholic community began to regroup. Krishnagar was erected into a prefecture apostolic on July 19, 1870, with Father Antony Marietti as its first prefect apostolic. It became a diocese on Sept. 1, 1886, and Father Frances Pozzi becoming its first bishop. He built the present cathedral in 1899, dedicating it to Jesus. When Dinajpur diocese was bifurcated in 1928, the PIME Fathers preferred to work in the new diocese, handing Krishnagar diocese to the Salesians (SDB).

The region enjoys communal harmony. Inter-caste marriages between Bengali and Santal tribal Catholics are common.

Economy

Rice, jute and gram (chickpea, a type of beans) are major crop. Kalyani city is considered the second most industrial city in the state after Kolkata. Industries of iron, wood, asbestos are found here. It is also famous for the pottery industry.

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