The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELC) was established in 1917. When the Soviet Union invaded Estonia in 1940, most Christian organizations were dissolved, church property was confiscated, theologians were exiled and religious education programs were outlawed. World War II later brought devastation to many church buildings. In 1988, church activities were renewed.
LCMS World Mission began a working relationship with the Estonia Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1996. The two church bodies continue to grow in their relationship and seek opportunities to support and partner with each other. The Estonian church is encouraged by the presence of an LCMS career missionary family in the Baltics.
Today the EELC has about 200,000 church members and focuses on the development of leadership—both clergy and laity. New mission initiatives include outreach into new communities and religious instruction in Lutheran schools.