According to studies, Estonia is one of the world’s most secular countries. Fewer than one-fifth of residents believe that religion is an important part of daily life.
During the Soviet era (1944–1991), society was characterized by atheistic propaganda and, in particular, Estonian Christians were persecuted by the authorities. After independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, religious activity increased and the Lutheran, Orthodox and Catholic churches gained the status of “national” churches in 2000.
The Lutheran Church dominates the Estonians, but only every fifth Est is a member. There is also an Orthodox Estonian minority (see below). The Russian speakers belong mainly to the Russian Orthodox Church. There are also smaller groups of Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Baptists, Pentecostals and others. In eastern Estonia, there are several thousand old-faith Orthodox, whose ancestors came as religious refugees from Russia in the 17th and 18th centuries.
When the Russian rule over Estonia ceased in 1918, the Estonian Apostolic-Orthodox Church declared itself independent of the Patriarchate in Moscow and stood under the Patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul). After the Soviet occupation in 1940, the Estonian Orthodox were forced under the Russian Orthodox bishop of Narva. The leaders of the Orthodox Estates then fled to Sweden and founded an exilestian Orthodox church. During the Soviet era, Estonian Christians were persecuted by the authorities.
In 1993, the exile church gained ownership of the property of the Orthodox parishes in Estonia through court ruling. This led to a prolonged battle with the Russian Orthodox Church, which had control of the Soviet Patriarchate in Moscow during the Soviet era.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Estonia, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
Most Orthodox churches in Estonia have now chosen the patriarch of Constantinople as head, but the largest churches and most members are in the Moscow faithful church.
Estonia eases more coronary restrictions
Estonia allows citizens from 16 countries within the Schengen area to visit the country and travelers from countries where the spread of infection is low need not quarantine. The borders were closed in mid-March and the community was shut down to stop the corona virus’s progress. But already a month later, the country gradually began to open up some community services and in mid-May several schools reopened while the state of emergency introduced in the country was lifted. Estonia has reported more than 1,800 cases of covid-19 while 66 people have died in the disease.
Baltic countries open borders to one another
15th of May
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania open their borders to travelers from the Baltic countries. However, visitors from another country still have to spend two weeks in quarantine before they can move freely in the countries. The number of cases of covid-10 has fallen sharply in the three countries.
Ekre kicks the Minister of Commerce
Extreme right-wing party Ekre has informed Commerce Minister Kaimar Karu that he no longer has the party’s confidence. Karu is one of the five ministers appointed by Ekre, but he is not a member of the party. Two more trade ministers in the coalition government have already had to leave their posts.
An emergency state is introduced because of the corona virus
the 13th of March
The Estonian Health Authority announces that 27 cases of covid-19 have been confirmed and the spread of infection is ongoing. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas then announces the state of emergency until 1 May. All public events are canceled and schools are closed. Anyone traveling to Estonia from an area where the virus has been infected, both Estonians and foreign nationals, must spend two weeks in quarantine.