In a land area of 16,579 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the entire state of Nagaland in northeastern India. Kohima is the biggest city in the diocese.
In the diocesan territory, the population is 1,988, 636 at the end of 2008. Nagas are the major ethnic groups. They are divided into various tribes: Angami, Rengma, Zeliang, Kuki, Kacharis, Chakhesang, Pochury, Pochury, Ao, Konyak, Phom, Khiamniungan, Chang, Yimchunger, Sangtam, Lotha, Sumi.
Diocese of Kohima comprises of the whole state of Nagaland and is named after its capital. It is situated in Northeast Eastern part of India, sharing the international border with Myanmar. The inhabitants, belonging to the 16 major tribes and other sub tribes of Mangoloid race, are collectively called Nagas. Each tribe is unique with its own dialect, customs, traditions, attire, etc., and they possess commonness in many cultural aspects too.
The history of Christianity began in Nagaland with the American Baptists stationed in Upper Assam extending their mission into the hills. By 1905, there were about 500 Christians among Nagas.
The mission of the Catholic Church in Kohima began in December 1948, when the Sisters of Missionaries of Christ Jesus along with Monsignor Emmanuel Bars, SDB, arrived in Kohima. They arrived on the request of then, the Governor of Assam, Sir. Akbar Hydari, to Bishop Stephan Ferrando, for their services in the newly established Civil Hospital at Kohima.
Msgr. Emmanuel Bars, the first Catholic Priest to reside in Kohima arrived along with the sisters on Dec. 29, 1948. There were strict restrictions on works of evangelization. The missionaries later recollect that they used to bury holy medals as they visited villages and places hoping for the growth of the Catholic faith. Sure enough, that was symbolic and prophetic action towards the steady growth of the Catholic faith in Kohima region.
The initial Catholic contacts in Nagaland took place at another end of the state simultaneously. That was at Lakhuti, bordering the state of Assam. Towards the north and closer to the Assam plains, work was in progress to take the Catholic faith to the Lotha tribe. A group of Lothas invite Catholic priests from Golaghat Mission centre to open a mission at Lakhuti. The first contact, as remembered, was in 1950 when Father Bollini was visited by five elders from Lukhuti village. There was great opposition from the villagers against these who related themselves to the Catholic priests. However their zeal grew over the opposition. Their determination took shape as they built a small hut where they held the first religious service on May 1, 1951.
Within short span of time, the heroic beginnings lead to tangible results that witnessed the creation of separate Diocese for the states of Nagaland and Manipur indicative of a growth in quantity and quality!
The Catholics of Nagaland and Manipur were under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Dibrugarh until 1973, when the Diocese of Kohima-Imphal was erected comprising the states of Nagaland and Manipur with Most Rev.Abraham Alangimattathil, SDB, as its first Bishop. In 1980, the Diocese was further biruficated with the formation of the Imphal Diocese comprising the state of Manipur while Diocese of Kohima is formed of the state of Nagaland.
The Catholic Church has extended its service to the various districts of Nagaland. The Church in Nagaland is now blessed with over 56,727 believers and a committed team of over 350 missionaries.
The growth has been steady in various aspects of the Church mission. Its service - pastoral, educational and social - has been multifaceted and spread into the entire state. It is a joy to see its service benefiting and bearing fruit day after day.
The City is managed by Corporation. The villages and small towns are administered by elected local bodies called Panchayats and municipalities respectively.
The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transport infrastructure by roads. The nearest airport is in Dimapur.
Rupees 18,147 (as of November 2009 USD392) is the per capita income in the diocese territory. Industries like sugar mills and bamboo factories, processing factories can be found. Agriculture is the main occupation. Rice and Chillies are grown there.
Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well connected by local cable TV networks.
67.11 per cent is the literacy rate in the diocesan territory.