Estonia is the northernmost of the Baltic states. The capital is Tallinn (400.000 inhabitants). According to the 2000 census, Estonia is one of the least religious countries in the world: approximately 76% of the population declares no religious affiliation.
It has been the protagonist of economic growth since 2010, thanks to the resumption of foreign demand and exports to its main Scandinavian trading partners, Sweden and Finland.
The UN indicates its human development index estimated in 2010 as “Very High” (34º) and has also been ranked at a high level for freedom of the press, economic freedom, democracy and political freedom and education.
The country is one of the first in the world to innovate, disseminate and use new technologies, such as the Internet and e-commerce, to gain the nickname of e-Stonia. There are about 1,140 Wi-Fi points in the area.
Catholics are a small minority (0.4% of the population) and are distributed over 9 parishes, one of which is the cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, in Tallinn. Additionally, three “missio ad gentes” (missions to the nations) have recently been established, for the new evangelization of secularized areas in the country.
Although Estonia is a relatively small country (approximately 1.320.000 inhabitants), it has many social problems — which urge and propel us to bring a word of love and salvation. The incidence of separation [and divorce] in families is very high. The extremely high number of suicides every year and the deaths due to alcoholism, drug overdose or accidents resulting from intoxication cannot be ignored. Likewise, one cannot ignore the worrisome SEYLE statistics (Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe), which report a rising number of Estonian youth aged 14-15 who wish to kill themselves and have engaged in self-destructive acts at least once. The Estonian nation bears the scars of the Soviet domination and of domination by other foreign powers across the centuries.