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 Baoding

Bishop James Su Zhimin
Bishop  James Su Zhimin
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Bishop James Su Zhimin
137 Yuhua West Road, Boading City, Hebei Province, China 071000

Bishop James Su Zhimin (alias Su Zhemin) Su was born in 1932 and ordained priest on April 4, 1981. He was clandestinely consecrated coadjutor bishop of Baoding May 2, 1993 by Bishop Peter Liu Guandong of neighboring Yixian diocese, to assist Bishop Peter Chen Jianzhang who succeeded the late Bishop Peter Joseph Fan Xueyan.

Succeeded as the ordinary of the diocese upon Bishop Chen’s death in 1994, Bishop Su could only install June 1995 due to sensitive political situation.

Bishop Su, who is now still under detention, was arrested at least five times and has spent about 20 years in jail. One of which took place after the first episcopal conference of the underground community in 1989. Then Father Su was sentenced to 3 years of “reform through-labor” together with Bishop Liu in 1990. After assuming his office, Bishop Su hid himself in various locations for 17 months before he was again caught in Oct. 1997 in accord to the suspension of religious activities at the Donglu Marian Shrine located in the diocesan territory.

His family discovered him by chance at a Baoding hospital in 2003. He has not been seen in public since.
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