Estonia is the northernmost Baltic state, sharing borders with Latvia to the south, Russia to the east and – across the Baltic Sea – Finland to the north. It’s population is approximately 1.5 million. The official language is Estonian, though a significant minority speaks Russian.
In spite of a long history of foreign domination by powerful neighbors, Estonians have maintained a strong sense of national identity and have proven themselves hardy and industrious. The most recent foreign occupation was that of the Soviet Union. In 1939, the Soviets invaded Estonia, wresting control from Nazi Germany. Neither invasion was welcome and sovereign Estonia was submerged into the USSR for the next 50 years. Since reclaiming their independence in 1991, Estonia has rebounded politically and financially and is now an active member of both NATO and the European Union.
By the grace of God and thanks to the perseverance of Estonian Christians, the Church in Estonia survived her long repression under communism. Having emerged whole and faithful, the Estonian Church is once again striving to be a bold and effective witness to the culture. As with other European nations, this includes speaking into a post-Christian, post-modern, materialistic and increasingly neo-pagan culture.
Alongside Ministries International has been involved in supporting the work of Estonian pastors in local churches, teaching catechisms, leading Bible studies, calling on the poor or the new members, and investing time and friendship in young Estonian Christians.