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An ever-growing number of persons from various backgrounds are becoming interested in the Orthodox Church.

The next group of Orthodox Christians to emerge on the American Continent were the Russian fur traders in the Aleutian Islands. The Orthodox Church in this country owes its origin to the devotion of so many immigrants from lands such as Greece, Russia, the Middle East, and the Balkans.In the great wave of immigrations in the 19th and 20th centuries, Orthodox Christians from many lands and cultures came to America in search of freedom and opportunity.In our Western Hemisphere, the Orthodox Church has been developing into a valuable presence and distinctive witness for more than two hundred years. The Shrine, named in memory of a great missionary of the Orthodox Church, honors those first Orthodox immigrants.The first Greek Orthodox Christians arrived in the New World in 1768, establishing a colony near the present city of St. One of the original buildings in which these immigrants gathered for religious services is still standing. The chapel serves as a national religious landmark, bearing witness to the presence of Orthodoxy in America from the earliest days of its history.All her activities, even her doctrinal formulations, are directed toward this goal.

Occasionally, the word Catholic is also used to describe the Orthodox Church.Like the first Apostles, they carried with them a precious heritage and gift.To the New World they brought the ancient faith of the Orthodox Church.It also affirms that the Church has preserved the fullness of the Christian faith.It is not unusual for titles such as Greek, Russian, and Antiochian to be used in describing Orthodox Churches.Many Orthodox Christians in America proudly trace their ancestry to the lands and cultures of Europe and Asia, but the Orthodox Church in the United States can no longer be seen as an immigrant Church.