In a land area of 90,000 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers three districts: Merauke, Mappi and Boven Digoel.
Total population live in the archdiocese's area is 273,287 people. They come from different ethnic background including Marind, Muyu, Mandobo, Awyu, Yaghai, Tamario, Asmat, Wiyagar, and Batak.
Generally, people in the archdiocese use Indonesian language in their daily lives. However, every ethnic group has their own language.
The history of Catholic Church began on May 8, 1807, when Prefecture Apostolic of Batavia was established. On Sept. 20, 1842, the prefecture apostolic became Vicariate Apostolic of Batavia. On Dec. 22, 1902, the vicariate apostolic was divided into Prefecture Apostolic of Dutch New Guinea. On July 20, 1920, Prefecture Apostolic of Dutch New Guinea was elevated to vicariate apostolic, and on May 12, 1949, this vicariate apostolic was divided into Vicariate Apostolic of Amboina and Prefecture Apostolic of Hollandia (Jayapura). On June 24, 1950, Vicariate Apostolic of Amboina became Vicariate Apostolic of Merauke. On June 14, 1954, Prefecture Apostolic of Hollandia was elevated to vicariate apostolic.
On Nov. 15, 1966, Monsignor Salvatore Pappalardo, who served as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Indonesia, was assigned to create an ecclesiastical area in Papua by elevating Vicariate Apostolic of Merauke to Archdiocese of Merauke and Vicariate Apostolic of Hollandia to Diocese of Sukarnapura.
Even though all three districts have main roads connecting to one another, transportation often becomes a problem during rainy season. All accesses to the districts are closed down because of the rain water.
The average income of an individual living in remote areas served by the archdiocese of Merauke is 1,000 rupiah (about US$0.11) a day. Economically, the per capita income is unstable. There are only two companies based in the archdiocese's area: PT. Korindo Group, which runs business of oil palm plantations and plywood, and PT. Medco Papua Lestari, which runs business of plywood.
Only in Merauke district, some national private television channels can be relayed. But all three districts have some local private radio broadcasting.
Many people use cell phones. However, SSB (single-sideband modulation) is still needed in remote areas.
The number of school buildings in all three districts has increased. However, remote villages still lack for education.
Every ethnic has their own music. However, people also listen to popular songs such as rock and hip hop.