Catholic missionaries were early visitors to Micronesia. In the late 17th century, they brought the faith to the Marianas, where the church became a strong feature of local culture for the next three centuries. Meanwhile, a few unsuccessful attempts were made to evangelize islands in the Carolines. It was not until the late 1800s, after Protestant missionaries had brought Christianity to eastern Micronesia, that the Catholics returned. Since then, however, the church has found a permanent place and changed the face of the islands forever.