Estonia 2021 update

The northernmost of the three Baltic states, compared with other European countries, Estonia has a large percentage of foreign-born residents and their children. Only about two-thirds of the population are ethnic Estonians.

The vast majority of Russians, the most significant minority of the Baltic states, are also scattered throughout other post-Soviet states such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine, and coming from the Soviet Union a lot of them may have stayed atheist or belong to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Rodnovers gathered at the Temple of Svarozhich’s Fire of the Union of Slavic Native Belief Communities, in Krasotinka, Kaluga Oblast, Russia, to celebrate Perun Day.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union various new religious movements have sprung up and gathered a following among ethnic Russians. The most prominent of these are the practitioners who harken back to the historical belief systems of the Slavic peoples of Central and Eastern Europe and practice Neopaganism or Rodnovery, the revival of the Slavic native religion also common to other Slavic nations. “Rodnovery” is a widely accepted self-descriptor within the community, although there are Rodnover organisations which further characterise the religion as Vedism, Orthodoxy, and Old Belief.

The Christian majority includes a large slice of unaffiliated Christians, along with significant Evangelical Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox communities, as well as lesser numbers of Baptists, Methodists, and Roman Catholics.

When Estonia opened its borders again, isolation was required for 14 days on entry and on returning. Some time ago the UK had closed the corridor to Estonia because the number of cases there was rising. One of our translators wrote recently that he, as a teacher, was having to work both at school and online and things were not good. He could see them heading for a lockdown.

As in previous years CBM has continued to send a monthly exhortation to our bro/sisters. They have added to this a monthly Bible talk to keep their minds spiritually active. These are translated into Estonian before they are sent. All our brothers and /sisters are in isolation and speak little if any English and find it difficult to cope with technology.

Some of the Bible talks we had been sending to our brothers and sisters had subjects which were suitable for contacts also, so we have been sending them a Bible talk every quarter, hoping to maintain their interest in the Bible and with us.

Finally, we have ended the year by sending to brothers and sisters and our regular friends a CALS Preaching calendar with our best wishes for a better year in 2021.

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