Latvia - (Europe)
Information about Latvia
The Baltic country of Latvia consists of four geographic regions: Latgale, Kurzeme, Vidzeme, and Zemgale. The Christian faith was introduced at the beginning of the 13th century mainly by missionaries from Germany. In the course of history the major part of the country was also called Livonia or Courlandia. In 1581 the first Bibles in Lettish were introduced in Riga by the Swedish pastor, Gothfriedd Glick. Jesuits began to teach in Latvian. For centuries the country was under the control of Germany, Sweden, Poland, and Russia. In 1918 Latvia obtained the status of an independent Democratic Republic. On June 17, 1940, on the basis of the Hitler/Stalin pact, pact, the country was annexed by the Soviet Union. It remained under Soviet domination from the end of World War II until 1992. On May 4, 1992, the Republic of Latvia again became independent. As a result of the policy generally pursued by the Soviet Union nearly half of the population in Latvia today is of non-Latvian origin.
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