About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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Surface area:45230 km2
GNI per capita:5380 US$
Classification:Economy in transition




Christian: 63.00%

Other: 1.00%


Protestants: 232240

Orthodox: 221500

Catholics: 3500

Independent: 58600

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The Estonian people are an ethnic and linguistic group which established itself in the area several thousand years ago. Together with Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia is part of the Baltic region. In modern history, Estonia achieved its indepen- dence for the first time in 1918, after centuries of Danish, Swedish, German and Russian rule. It was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940, and occupied by Nazi Germany. Thousands of people fled the country before the arrival of the Soviet army in 1944. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Estonia became again independent, and since then it has sought to strengthen its integra- tion with Europe. It joined the European Union in 2004. Relations with neighbouring Finland and with Sweden have a special importance for the country, cul- turally and economically. Christianity was first brought to Estonia from Denmark and Germany, in the 13th century. The country adopted the Lutheran Reformation. Orthodoxy came to Estonia from Russia. In the 1990s a conflict emerged in the Orthodox Church, which was eventually settled between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the creation of two separate jurisdic- tions. Besides the Lutheran Church, the two Orthodox churches and a small Methodist Church are also part of the WCC, through the wider church structures to which they belong. There is a Baptist Union, and several Pentecostal and Evangelical groups are active in Estonia.


Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

WCC member churches based in Estonia

WCC member churches present in Estonia

Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

Last updated: 01/01/06