Latvia joined the EU in 2004 and enjoyed an economic boom, but several more recent events have reversed that. Life has been tough for many people, especially outside Riga. There is a prevalent attitude of spiritual apathy and hopelessness among many.

Malcolm and Ruth Firth serve in Riga, at a very international church plant

Latvia is also divided by its Soviet dominated past, with a large minority speaking only Russian, which was recently rejected as an official language in a referendum. Work among young people is vital, as they often have a different outlook to those who lived through Communism, and may be more open to the gospel.

How can you pray for Latvia?

  • For churches to be a demonstration of the gospel, bridging the divide between Latvian and Russian.
  • For those who reach out to Latvia’s poorest with the love of Jesus.
  • For outreach to the many students from across Asia who come to study in Riga.

Opportunities to serve in Latvia

  • Church planting
  • Training leaders
  • TEFL
  • Compassion ministries

GBM stories from Latvia

Latvia – key facts

  • Population 1.88 million (July 2020 est.)
  • Population Growth -1.12% (2020 est.)
  • Ethnicity Latvian 62.2%, Russian 25.2%, Belarusian 3.2%, Ukrainian 2.2%, Polish 2.1%, Lithuanian 1.2%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2.3% (2018 est.)
  • Language Latvian (official) 56.3%, Russian 33.8%, other 0.6% (includes Polish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian), unspecified 9.4% (2011 est.)
  • Religion Lutheran 36.2%, Roman Catholic 19.5%, Orthodox 19.1%, other Christian 1.6%, other 0.1%, unspecified/none 23.5% (2017 est.)
  • Literacy 99.9% (2015)

(Data from the CIA World Factbook, August 2020)