Religion

The largest religious community in Lithuania is Roman Catholics (about 79% of religious believers are Catholics). Catholicism started to spread in Lithuania in 1251 when King Mindaugas was baptized. Later, a part of the nobility was also baptized. In 1387, the ethnic Lithuania was re-baptized, and in 1413 Samogitia was also re-baptized. Independent Vilnius and Kaunas ecclesiastical provinces were established in 1991.

The Roman Catholic religion is based on the Bible. Roman Catholics profess the religion in church, which is considered a house of prayer and community meeting. The supreme leader of the Catholic Church is the Pope (Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected in 2013 and has become Pope Francis). The head of the regional Catholic Church is the bishop. The bishop’s assistants are priests. A priest leads a parish, celebrates mass, listens to the confessions of religious believers and gives the sacrament of penance, etc. At the front of the Roman Catholic Church there is an altar and a table on which the mass is being sacrificed.

The religion of Orthodox or Orthodox Christians is the second traditional religion in Lithuania. It is mostly followed by Russians living in Klaipėda and Vilnius counties. The number and geographic distribution of followers of other religions in Lithuania is closely related to the population’s national composition. Evangelical Lutherans mostly live in Western Lithuania (Tauragė, Klaipėda counties). Evangelical Reformers stay in Panevėžys county (Biržai district), and Karaims reside in Trakai, Biržai, Pasvalys, Naujamiestis, Upytė.

Images of Prayer Houses of Other Acknowledged Traditional Religions

Paganism was officially banned until 1387 by the Act of Lithuanian Supremacy. Currently there is a rebirth of the old Lithuanian religion called the Baltic religion. There are about thirty Baltic communities today.

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