Religious sects in Latvia

Minor Christian faiths

Christian denominations other than the largest four comprises of 1,5%-2,5% of Latvia’s inhabitants (if put together).

Most of these communities are a result of missionary activity in the recent century. They have been greatly damaged during the Soviet occupation when that anti-religious regime found the smallest communities to be the easiest target to destroy.

However after Latvia achieved independence (1990) these “minor” faiths blossomed more than most others as their active and devout priests promoted various “new” (for Latvia) forms of Christ following that had no reputation damage made by Soviet propaganda nor were marred by bureucracy common to larger congregations. The fact that Latvia was always a multi-denominational country may have also easened the advance of new religious minorities.

Kuldīga baptist church
A pre-war baptist church (1897) in Kuldīga town. While their faith is the largest among smaller denominations, baptist churches are still much smaller than those of the main denominations. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Most minor faiths are international, although one large faith known as New Generation was established locally and later gained followers abroad. Most of these faiths are protestant in nature. They usually meet at modest new religious buildings or at rented premises.

A post-1990 Baptist church established within and ordinary building in Daugavpils
A post-1990 Baptist church established within and ordinary building in Daugavpils. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The numbers of followers of each minor Christian faith in Latvia (2013):
*Baptists – 7026
*Evangelical – 4956
*Pentecostals – 4736
*Seventh-Day Adventists – 3943
*New Generation – 3020
*New Apostle Church – 1276
*Latter Day Saints (LDS, Mormons) – 838
*Jehovah Witnesses – 721
*Methodists – 502
*Salvation Army – 409
*Reformed – 80
*Anglicans – 55
*Presbyterian – 24
*Christian Science – 24