A.a. 1; abp., 1 (nuncio is apostolic administrator); parishes, 5; priests, 12 (6 dioc., 6 rel); sem., 3; srs., 19; bap., 79; Caths., 6,000 (.43%); tot. pop., 1,380,000.
Independent (1991) Baltic republic; capital, Tallinn. (Forcibly absorbed by the USSR in 1940; it regained independence in 1991.) Catholicism was introduced in the 11th and 12th centuries. Jurisdiction over the area was made directly subject to the Holy See in 1215. Lutheran penetration was general in the Reformation period, and Russian Orthodox influences was strong from early in the 18th century until 1917, when independence was attained. The first of several apostolic administrators was appointed in 1924. The small Catholic community was hard-hit during the 1940-91 Soviet occupation ( not recognized by the Holy See or the United States). Since its independence, the small Catholic community in Estonia has worked to re-establish Catholic theology and education. In 1999 the Holy See and government of Estonia reached agreement on a number of issues, including guarantees that the Church could name its own bishops and the priests from abroad would be able to continue to work in the country.
(The above exert comes from Our Sunday Visitor's 2004 Catholic Almanac and is used on this web site with the publisher's permission.)