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Explore South Asia's ancient dioceses

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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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Archdiocese of Yangon

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Archdiocese of Yangon
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Yangon is the capital city of Myanmar. There are altogether 14 states and divisions. Yangon archdiocese comprises the whole of the Yangon (Superior) Division, parts of Bago Division, Ayeyawaddy Division, and Kayin and Mon states. It shares a common boundary with Thailand. The archdiocese covers an area of 47,191.29 square kilometers with hills, mountains and fields. The total population in the whole archdiocese is about 15 million and Catholics numbered 79,682 in 2008 statistics.

Buddhism is the dominant religion in the archdiocese. There are about 600,000 Catholics in Myanmar, of which 79,682, or 13.28 percent, are in Yangon archdiocese. There are 49 parishes and subparishes comprising around 400 villages. 

In 1954, the Catholic Hierarchy of Burma (Myanmar) was established by Pope Pius XII, and the Vicariate of Southern Burma was divided into two sections. The larger eastern portion of the vicariate became the Archdiocese of Rangoon (Yangon). The western portion, comprising the three districts of Bassein (Pathein), Myaungmya and Henzada, became the Diocese of Bassein. 

Archbishop Victor Bazin was appointed head of the Archdiocese of Rangoon on Jan. 1, 1955. On June 19, 1971, Archbishop V. Bazin retired and returned to France the same year. Archbishop Gabriel Thohey Mahn-Gaby succeeded him as the Archbishop of Rangoon. On Sept. 28, 2002, he retired and Bishop Sotero Phamo (Bishop of Loikaw) was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Yangon. On May 24, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Charles Bo Archbishop of Yangon. He was installed on June 7, 2003 by Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, the Apostolic Delegate to the Union of Myanmar.

The website of Yangon Archdiocese is available at: www.yangondiomm.org

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