Archdiocese of Raipur
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Raipur archdiocese covers 60,814 square kilometers and has a population of  22,055,579 as of 2005.

Population

A total of 22,055,579 people live in the diocesan territory.

Language

Languages used here include Hindi, Chhattisgarhi, Oriya, Oraon and English. The literacy rate is 63.6% for males and 29.5% for females.

History

Raipur was established as a Prefecture by Pope Paul VI on January 16, 1964 with territory taken from the Archdiocese of Nagpur comprising the districts of BilaspurDurg and Raipur.It was entrusted to the Southern German province of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines) in 1951. On July 28, 1964 sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith placed the Prefecture as suffragan to the Archdiocese of Bhopal. The Bastar district in the Madhya Pradesh was detached on June 16, 1966 from the Diocese of Vishakapatanam and attached to the prefecture with effect from August 15, 1966.Bastardistrict was separated from the Raipur Prefecture on the March 23, 1972 and established as an Exarchate. It was raised to the status of Diocese of Jagdalpur and later entrusted to the congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.

Raipur was erected as a diocese on July 5, 1973 comprising the district of Bilaspur,Durg and Raipur Rajnadgaon. With the formation of Chhattisgarh state on November 1,2000 the Diocese Raipur was raised to the status of Archdiocese and Most Rev.Joseph Augustine Charanakunnel was installed as the first Archbishop on the March 18, 2004 having Ambikapur, jagdalpur ,jashpur and Raigarh as its suffragan diocese.

The First Apostolic Administrator was Very Rev Mgr John Weidner SAC, a German Missionary. When he died Rev Fr Joseph Arpootham,became the Vicar Capitular and later the Very Rev Mgr Werner Hunold SAC became the Second Apostolic Administrator. Very Rev Mgr Joseph Chirapuram was the next Diocesan Administrator before the Rt.Rev Dr Philip Ekka took charge of the Diocese as the first Bishop. After his death, Most Rev Joseph Augustine Charanakunnel became the bishop. Pope John Paul II raised Raipur diocese to archdiocese status on March 18, 2004, and made Bishop Joseph Augustine Charanakunnel its first archbishop. After his retirement on July 3, 2013 Most Rev Victor Henry Thakur, the Bishop of Bettiah became the Archbishop of Raipur.