History & Archives

A History and Introduction of the Orthodox Church in America

St. Tikhon's Monastery, early 1940's.

The Orthodox Church in America traces its origins to the arrival in Kodiak, Alaska of eight Orthodox missionaries from the Valaamo Monastery in the northern Karelia region of Russia in 1794. The missionaries made a great impact on the native Alaskan population and were responsible for bringing many to the Orthodox Christian faith.

Today, the Orthodox Church in America numbers some 700 parishes, missions, communities, monasteries, and institutions throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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Orthodox Christians in North America 1794–1994

Orthodox wedding party, c. 1898.

From its humble beginnings in 1794, when a small group of missionaries landed on Kodiak Island, Alaska, Orthodoxy in America has expanded to comprise a church of over two million faithful. Yet numerous Americans from all cultural and religious backgrounds have, particularly in recent decades, joined Orthodoxy as well. Orthodoxy does have something to say to American society. Thus, the story is told on these webpages.

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