Liva Fokrote

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)




This paper is about Christianity in Latvia in the twentieth century. The country of Latvia is located on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea in Northeastern Europe. Christianity was brought to this country at the end of the twelfth century. Only in the twentieth century did the Christian Church in Latvia become truly indigenous and diverse.

The Church history in Latvia began with the crusading attempts of German bishops and religious orders that brought Roman Catholicism to Latvia at the end of the twelfth century. The Catholic bishops and religious orders dominated both the ecclesiastical and political life in Latvia until the beginning of the sixteenth century. The Protestant Reformation introduced Lutheranism to the inhabitants of Latvia. The events of the Reformation triggered the Counter-Reformation that was the response of the Roman Catholic Church. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, both the Lutheran Church and Catholic Church dominated in the territory of Latvia, with Lutheranism spreading throughout the country and Catholicism concentrating primarily in Latgale, Latvia's southeastern region. Pietism, in Latvia commonly referred to as Hemlimtism, was a renewal movement within the Lutheran Church. It came to Latvia in the eighteenth century and flourished for most of the nineteenth century. These three movements within the Christian Church have played a significant role in forming the character of Christianity in Latvia in the twentieth century.