The first Catholic missionary of Chotanagpur, Fr. Augustus Stockman S.J. was sent in 1868 by Bishop Steins of Calcutta to explore the possibility of evangelization among the tribals. He journeyed from Midnapur on rickety bullock-cart and on the tenth day arrived Chaibasa in Singhbhum district. After three year’s stay and hard work six poor Munda families from Kuntpani in the Ho land, asked him for baptism. Unable to settle them among the Hos, he brought them to Tutuyu and settled them here near Kochang village which he named Burudih.
The fire of the Catholic faith which had been ignited in Burudih Kochang would soon spread to Bandgaon, Sarwada and Dolda. By 1885, when Fr. Constant Lievens S.J. the “Apostle of Chotanagpur” came, the Catholics numbered 2000. With the arrival of Fr. Lievens, the missionary approach and methodology changed. He settled in Torpa and began to help the tribals in court cases to regain possession of their land away snatched by rapacious landlords. He preached the Gospels by his word and deed. This brought spectacular success as well as painful trial. The Mundas flocked to Torpa and gradually many mission stations were established in present Khunti and Ranchi diocese.
In 1892 Fr. John Baptist Hoffmann S.J., a German missionary, volunteered to go to Bandgaon and a year later shifted to Sarwada. His outstanding contributions were to ensure security of the land of tribals, to free them from debt traps of land lords and moneylenders and to preserve their language and culture. To achieve these objectives, he played an instrumental in getting the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act passed, founded the Catholic cooperative Credit Society and compiled a 16 volume Encyclopedia Mundarica, which he worked on after his repatriation to Germany in 1915 by British Government.
The diocese of Ranchi was created in 1927 being bifurcated from the Archdiocese of Calcutta with Msgr. Louis Van Hoeck as the first Bishop. He initiated to work in the area of education of tribals and laid foundation of indigenous clergy, which was further consolidated and expanded by his successor Bishop Oscar Servin, S.J.
In 1952 Ranchi was elevated to the status of an Archdiocese with most Ref. Nicolas Kujur, S.J., a son of the soil, as its first Archbishop. In the four decades and half since the Archdiocese was created, there are now 16 dioceses; Khunti is one of these.
The diocese of Khunti is created on 12th May 1995 by Pope Saint John Paul II with south-east territory carved out the Archdiocese of Ranchi. Khunti diocese comprises the whole of khunti district Bandgaun parish in West Singhbhum district, Kudda parish in Gumla district, Mahugaun, Bundu and Vijaygiri in Ranchi district . The catholic population of the diocese consists most of the scheduled tribes, in particular of Mundas. Most Reverend Stephen M. Tiru, Bishop of Dumka, was transferred to khunti in 1995 as the first Bishop of the new diocese. On 30th Nov 2012 Most Rev. Binay Kandulna, the Auxillary Bishop of Ranchi, was appointed as the Bishop of Khunti, who was installed on 12th January 2013 as its second prelate.