Catholic Diocese Of Ambikapur

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About / History

Already in the time of the great pioneer Rev. Fr. Constant Lievens, S.J. a Belgian Missionary priest (approx. 1890) delegates from Surguja the northern most district of present Chhattisgarh in Central India went 200 kms on foot to Ranchi to be instructed, catechised and begged to get catechists and to be visited by a priest regularly. But the feudal rulers persecuted those who had been instructed and neither catechists nor a priest could be sent. In the beginning of 1948 the feudal states merged into India and the few catholics who had settled in Surguja were joined by many who came from adjacent dioceses of Ranchi and Raigarh (Jashpur at present), the places from Jashpur and Barway in search of land, jobs and livelihood. Missionaries came to visit these settlers. From the mission centre called Kanjia in Jharkhand, Jodhpur was started in 1947. Four other mission stations : Ambikapur, Banea, Ratasili and Shantipara (Basen) were established in 1952. As the Independence dawned Christianity saw the light brighter and brighter. Thus sprouted the tiny little seed of Christian faith in the catholic diocese of Ambikapur.

The Diocese of Ambikapur was erected on 14th December, 1977 by separation from Raigarh-Ambikapur diocese. The diocese is co-extensive with the present civil districts of Surguja, Koreya, Surajpur and Balrampur in the northern part of the new state of Chhattisgarh in Central India.

Till 1947 the year of Indian Independence, Surguja was a native state ruled by a Hindu Maharaja-king. Surguja was one of the largest districts of the old State Madhya Pradesh. With the inception of Chhattisgarh as a new State, Surguja also was later bifurcated into two districts of Surguja, Surajpur, Balrampur and Koreya on November 01, 2000. .