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Census: Orthodoxy is the largest religion in Estonia

Orthodoxy remains the most widespread religion in Estonia, according to data from the 2021 population census.

Orthodox Christians currently comprise 16% of the population, reports Statistics Estonia, the country’s official statistics agency. This number has remained unchanged since the 2011 census.

The faithful are divided between two jurisdictions: the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church and the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

In the same period, the country’s second-largest confession, Lutheranism, fell from 10% to 8%.

Overall, 29% of people in Estonia are affiliated with a religion—remaining stable over the past three censuses. However, those who are not affiliated have increased from 54% to 58% over the past decade.

Concerning ethnic groups, Estonians themselves are the least religiously affiliated—just 17%. Just 3% of Estonians are affiliated with Orthodoxy.

On the other hand, “Half, or 50%, of people of Russian nationality feel an affiliation of Orthodoxy, compared with 47% of Ukrainians and 58% of Belarusians,” states the statistics agency.

Information on religion was collected from all people aged 15 or older in the population and housing census from the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2022.

In September 2021, Estonia’s oldest surviving Orthodox church celebrated its 300th anniversary.

Photo source / Kavalenkava Volha