Baltic Countries

Northern Europe's three Baltic countries—Estonia (1.34 million), Latvia (2.2 million), and Lithuania (3.33 million)—have historically exhibited a high degree of religious diversity, playing host to substantial Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox, and Jewish populations as well as smaller communities of Muslims, Moravians, Old Believers, and others. For half of the 20th century, the tiny Baltic countries were captive to the Soviet Union, an officially atheistic superpower whose rulers viewed any manifestations of religiosity with suspicion. Independent since 1991, the Baltics, like many formerly communist nations in eastern Europe, have witnessed a modest revival of the region's traditional churches while at the same time exhibiting considerable tolerance for nontraditional religions. Yet as has been the case in western Europe for the past century or more, there is also ...

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