March 13, 2018 – Please pray for Estonia
Estonia is a sovereign state in Northern Europe, bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north. The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea. It is influenced by a humid continental climate. Ethnic Estonians – the largest ethnic group in country – are Finnic peoples.
Estonia is economically deeply integrated with the economies of its northern neighbors, Sweden and Finland. As a member of the European Union, Estonia is considered a high-income economy by the World Bank.
Estonia was introduced to Christianity by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century. During the Reformation, Protestantism spread, and the Lutheran church was officially established in Estonia in 1686. Before the Second World War, Estonia was approximately 80% Protestant; overwhelmingly Lutheran, with individuals adhering to Calvinism, as well as other Protestant branches. Many Estonians profess not to be particularly religious, because religion through the 19th century was associated with German feudal rule.
Today, Estonia’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion, separation of church and state, and individual rights to privacy of belief and religion. According to the Dentsu Communication Institute Inc, Estonia is one of the least religious countries in the world, with 75.7% of the population claiming to be irreligious. The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 found that only 16% of Estonians profess a belief in a god, the lowest belief of all countries. According to the Lutheran World Federation, the historic Lutheran denomination has a large presence with 180,000 registered members.
New polls about religiosity in the European Union in 2012 by Eurobarometer found that Christianity is the largest religion in Estonia accounting for 45% of Estonians. Eastern Orthodox are the largest Christian group in Estonia, accounting for 17% of Estonia citizens, while Protestants make up 6%, and Other Christian make up 22%. Non believer/Agnostic account 22%, Atheist accounts for 15%, and undeclared accounts for 15%.
The most recent Pew Research Center, found that in 2015, 51% of the population of Estonia declared itself Christians, 45% religiously unaffiliated—a category which includes atheists, agnostics and those who describe their religion as “Nothing in Particular”, while 2% belonged to other faiths. The Christians divided between 25% Eastern Orthodox, 20% Lutherans, 5% other Christians and 1% Roman Catholic. The religiously unaffiliated are divided between 9% as atheists, 1% as agnostics and 35% as nothing in Particular.
The largest religious denomination in the country is Lutheranism, adhered to by 160,000 Estonians (or 13% of the population), principally ethnic Estonians. Another major group, inhabitants who follow Eastern Orthodox Christianity, practiced chiefly by the Russian minority, and the Russian Orthodox Church is the second largest denomination with 150,000 members. The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, under the Greek –Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate, claims another 20,000 members. Thus, the number of adherents of Lutheranism and Orthodoxy, without regard to citizenship or ethnicity, is roughly equal. Catholics have their Latin Apostolic Administration of Estonia.
According to the census of 2000, there were about 1,000 adherents of the Taara faith or Maausk in Estonia (see Maavalla Koda). The Jewish community has an estimated population of about 1,900 (see History of the Jews in Estonia). Around 68,000 people consider themselves atheist.
The above are from en.wikipedia.org. These statements have not been fact-checked and are only used here to help us gain a better understanding of this nation.
Serving others by praying for peoples is a great calling by God through the Holy Spirit. Let Him challenge us on how to pray.
1. Pray for the youth of this nation. The youth of the world need a solid foundation of spiritual understanding to serve Jesus and prosper in life.
2. Pray for the spiritual and national leaders of Estonia.
3. Pray for the faithful believers in Jesus to share the Gospel with confidence, compassion and conviction to all who are in this nation.