In 1940 Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania were absorbed in the Soviet Union. Since 1991 Latvia regained its independence. Because of its important forest industry, thousands of Russian immigrants moved to Latvia during the Communist era. The population of Latvia numbers 2.4 million. The capital is Riga. In the 10 years since independence Latvia has made a rapid transformation from a Soviet economy to the free market. It wants to belong to NATO and the European Union.
In this new era of independence the Russian immigrant population is significant. They keep to their language and traditions and the Latvian people keep to their language. BIMI missionaries work with both people groups seeking to establish both Latvian-language churches and Russian-language ministries. There are open doors into Latvia and their neighbors, too. Estonia lies to the north and Lithuania to the south. “Come over and help” is the Gospel call to these Baltic peoples.