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Diocese of Sitka

8 bytes added, 22:59, July 16, 2012
[[Image:Alaska.png|thumb|right|Visual representation of the Diocese of Alaska]]
The '''Diocese of Alaska (OCA)'''—in full, the '''Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska'''—is a [[diocese]] of the [[Orthodox Church in America]]. It is currently under the administration of [[Bishop ]] [[Benjamin (Peterson) of San Francisco]] as ''[[locum tenens]]''. Its territory includes the American state of [[Alaska]].
The diocese has, since 2007, been struggling with a crisis regarding the leadership of its [[bishop]], including allegations of abuse against both the bishop and the diocesan [[chancellor]], Archimandrite Isidore (Brittain). His Grace, the Right Reverend [[Nikolai (Soraich) of Sitka|Nikolai (Soraich)]], the diocesan bishop, was placed on a leave of absence beginning [[March 4]], 2008, which was rescinded shortly thereafter and then reinstated on [[April 17]], 2008. The leave became voluntarily permanent in May 2008, followed by his official retirement.
The territory of what is now the Diocese of [[Alaska ]] was the beginning of the presence of Orthodox Christianity in the Western Hemisphere when Russian [[monk]]s arrived as [[missionary|missionaries]] to preach the [[Gospel]] of [[Jesus Christ]] to the indigenous peoples in the 1790s. This mission expanded into the formation of a series of dioceses and [[vicar]] [[see]]s that became the Archdiocese of the Aleutian Islands and North America during the first decade of the twentieth century with the territory of Alaska served by an assistant/vicar bishop.
With the establishment of the diocese of the Aleutian Islands and North America, the position of an auxiliary/vicar [[bishop]] was established for Alaska, first held by Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky). When the [[Church of Russia]] granted autocephaly to the [[Metropolia]], the successor organization to the Archdiocese of the Aleutian Islands and North America, the territory of Alaska was organized as a [[diocese]] of of the new [[Orthodox Church in America]], with a diocesan bishop.

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