Roman Catholic priests from France were the first Europeans to enter the Illinois country, and most of the early settlers were of the same faith. Protestant congregations were first organized after the American Revolution. The first Methodist church in Illinois was founded in 1793 and the first Baptist church in 1796. Other early Protestant groups were the Presbyterians and Congregationalists. A number of religious communities were also established in the state by the Quakers, Mennonites, and others. One religious group active briefly in Illinois in the 19th century was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are popularly known as Mormons.
They lived in Nauvoo from 1839 until 1846. Zion, a city in northeastern Illinois, was founded in 1901 by John Alexander Dowie of the Christian Catholic Church, and it retained a theocratic form of government until 1935.
The Roman Catholic Church now accounts for about one-third of all church members in Illinois. Of the various Protestant denominations in the state, the most numerous are the Baptists, Methodists, and Lutherans. There are also large Jewish congregations in Illinois, particularly in Chicago. Saint Sava’s Serbian Monastery, in Libertyville, is the North American headquarters of the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church. The Baha’i Faith, a religion founded in Persia in the 19th century, maintains its American national center in Wilmette, a suburban community that lies just north of Chicago. "Illinois" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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