The first Russian Orthodox church in Alaska was built at Sitka in 1816 to serve the Russian colony there and as a base for missionary work among the indigenous peoples. It was replaced in 1848 by the Cathedral of Saint Michael, which, after a fire in 1966, has been completely rebuilt and is now a major tourist destination in addition to being a functioning parish of the Russian Orthodox Church. There are other churches and chapels of the diocese along the coast and in the Aleutians. The church has a seminary for priests in Kodiak.
Several Protestant denominations, including the Lutherans and the Presbyterians, were already active in Alaska in the 19th century. Presbyterians originally founded Sheldon Jackson College at Sitka as a mission and an industrial school for Native Americans.
The Episcopal Church sent missionaries to the Yukon River valley in the 1880s, and Fairbanks is the seat of an Episcopal missionary bishopric. Other Protestant denominations in Alaska include the United Methodists, whose churches are part of a larger regional conference with headquarters at Portland, Oregon, and the Southern Baptists, who form the largest of the Baptist congregations.
In the 1880s the Society of Jesus (see Jesuits) became the second Roman Catholic religious order to enter Alaska, replacing the Catholic Oblate fathers, and working particularly in the Yukon River region. In 1951 the Roman Catholic diocese of Juneau was created. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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