Explore South Asia's ancient dioceses

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

St. Thomas the Apostle, who is believed to have arrived on Kerala’s Malabar Coast in 52 AD, is considered the father of the Catholic faith in India.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when European missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The history of a few ancient dioceses in Asia can be dated back to 13th century pre-Portuguese mission expeditions.

Find out the oldest diocese in India here.

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Diocese of Melaka-Johor

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Diocese of Melaka-Johor
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In a land area of 20,364 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the states of Johor and Melaka in the southern part of peninsular Malaysia.


There live approximately 4 million people in the diocesan territory.


Malay is the national language. English and various Chinese dialects also widely spoken.


There is a very good road system in the two states. The airport at Senai, about 30 kilometers northwest of Johor Bahru, handles mostly domestic traffic.


The climate is equatorial (hot and wet).


A mixture of agriculture, industry, commerce and tourism. Johor state is a major agricultural area of the country. The main crops are oil palm, rubber and fruit trees. Industrial areas center on the southern and western part of the territory. Tourism centers on the historic town of Melaka, the beaches and off-shore islands on the east coast of Johor, and inland forests.


Some low mountains in the northern part. The rest of the territory are mostly rolling hills and lowlands.

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