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History of Chittagong Archdiocese

The early history of the Church goes back to 1537 A.D. when there were Catholics in the Portuguese settlements in areas that now form part of the Diocese of Chittagong. The first Churches were set up in 1600 in what now forms Diang and the city of Chittagong.

Father Francesco Fernandez, SJ, who came to Chittagong in 1598, and who was blinded and tortured and died in captivity on November 14, 1602, is the Bengal's first martyr. In 1845 Chittagong became the seat of the first Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Bengal, and later the administration was transferred to Dhaka. Noakhali was also the first place to have the Holy Cross missionaries who arrived there in June, 1853.

The Diocese of Chittagong was canonically erected on May 25, 1927, taking away a good half of the territory that comprised the then Diocese of Dhaka. The Diocese then comprised of Chittagong, Noakhali, Barisal, Gournadi, Narikelbari, Haflong, Badarpur, Akyab, Sandoway, Gyeithaw and Chaugtha. Akyab, Sandoway, etc. was handed over to the La Salette Fathers in the Diocese of Akyab in 1937-38.

The newly erected Diocese of Chittagong in 1927 was entrusted to the care of the Canadian Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross. When the new ecclesiastical province of Dhaka was created in July, 1950, Chittagong became a sufragan of Dhaka. Later in 1952, portions of the Diocese of Chittagong that were situated in Assam (India) were detached to form a separate ecclesiastical unit, called the Prefecture of Haflong, and later the Diocese of Silchar which is called now the Diocese of Agartola and the Diocese of Aijwal.

Total Population : 285,86,492
Catholic Population : 36,679
Language Spoken : Bangla, English and few Tribal .