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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Diocese of Miao

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Diocese of Miao
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In a land area of 43, 955 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers civil districts of Changlang, Upper Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley, Anjaw, Lohit and Tirap in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh is situated in the north-east corner of India. It is called 'the land of the rising sun' and is the habitat of 26 Mongoloid tribes and their sub tribes scattered over an area of 87,400 square kilometers. This land borders China, Tibet, Bhutan and Myanmar and comprises snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas and flooding river valleys.


502,000 is the total population in the diocese. Tangsa, Lisu or Yobin, Singpho, Tutsa, Chakma, Adibasis, Ponthais Idu Mishmi, Idu, Adi, Mishing, Mishmis. Zakhring, Deori, Khamti, Mishmi, Singpho, Wancho, Lazu, Tutsa are the various ethnic groups in the diocesan territory.


The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called panchayats and municipalities, respectively.


The nearest airport is Dibrugarh which is 150 kilometers away.


The per capita income in the diocesan territory is Rs 25, 836 ($550) as of October 2009. Farming is the main occupation, done by 90 percent the population. Petroleum and coal mining industries are also situated in the diocese.


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


Nearly 54.34 percent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.

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