Diocese of Dinajpur
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Population

The total population is around 16,000,000. In addition to Bangla, which is widely spoken, tribal communitiesin the diocesan territory speak their own languages including Santali, Oraon (Kuruk and Sadri), Mahali, Mundari, Malo, Mal and Paharia.

History

Spanish Carmelite missionaries first evangelized the diocese's territory in the 17th century. In the mid-19th century, the area was part of the Krishnagar Mission (now the Diocese of Krishanagar in West Bengal, India). PIME missionaries first came to work in the area in 1855 and have been here ever since.

The Diocese of Dinajpurcovered all of North Bengal when it was erected in 1927. The new diocese was entrusted to the PIME missionaries, and Bishop Santino Taveggia PIME, until then Bishop of Krishnagar, became the first Bishop of Dinajpur. Their main collaborators were the Sisters of Charity (Maria Bambina Sisters). In 1952 Bishop Joseph Obert, PIME founded the diocesan Catechist Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Angels (CIC). The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate (MSI, PIME) arrived in the diocese in 1953.

In 1952, five years after the partition of the subcontinent , the territory comprising the current Indian dioceses of Dumka, Raiganj and part of Jalpaiguri was detached from the Diocese of Dinajpur. In January 1976, Pabna District along with St. Rita's Parish in Mathurapur were transferred from the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Dhaka to the diocese of Dinajpur, so that the diocese covered the the whole of Rajshahi Division, across the rivers Jamuna and Ganges.

In May 1990 the southern areas were detached to form the new Diocese of Rajshahi.

Political

There is no separate political structure in the diocesan territory. Citizens elect representatives to fill seats .for parliamentary districts. Minorities communites have not reported undue pressure concerning their participation in politics.

Transportation

Buses, trains and private vehicles are the main modes of transport to Dinajpur town. Domestic flights reach only to Saidpur, about 130 kilometers to the south. Roads connect district towns and rural areas of the diocese.

Geography

The diocese covers a land area of 12,638 square kilometers comprising eight civil districts — Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagar, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha — and Panchbibi sub-district of Joypurhat.

Economy

The annual per capita income for Bangladesh was US$599 as of June 2008, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. Agriculture is the primary means of livelihood in the Dinajpur diocesan territory, with the main products being rice, wheat and lychee. Rice varieties from this area are famous

Telecommunication

Cell phones are ever more popular, and many service providers have come up in addition to government and private landline service providers.

Education

The literacy rate is 26 percent, according to the local government office.

Catholics on a pilgrimage in Dinajpur diocese

Catholics protest attack on Boldipukur convent

Catholics protest attack on Boldipukur convent The protest was held in front of the sub-district office of Mithapukur in the district of Rongpur. This is the first time that a Bangladeshi bishop has taken part in a demonstration.