Russian Orthodox faith is followed by 18%-22% of Latvia’s inhabitants, mostly Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian minorities in the cities and Latgale.
Russian Orthodox churches tend to be domed and have square gold colored interiors. Most of the inscriptions and events there are in Russian as nearly every Latvia’s Orthodox speaks Russian natively.
Russian Orthodox faith first gained importance in Latvia when Latvia was conquered by Russia in the 18th century. Russian settlers, soldiers and officials had churches funded for them by the state as the Orthodox church was considered a key basis of the Empire and its culture.
The numbers of Orthodox adherents swelled together with Soviet colonization of Latvia as many Russophones were sent into Latvian cities. While religious life was shunned at the time and no new churches were built, after independence the Orthodox religion rebounded as many Russophones rediscovered the faith of their forefathers.