Economic activity of the leading religious organizations in EstoniaAbstract
The confessional space of regions and countries is dynamically changing and acquiring new characteristics. But these changes and the factors that determine them are not fully reflected in academic research. One of the least studied topics is the economic activity of confessions. Estonia is one of the few countries in the Baltic region where religion has not been a public institution until nowadays, therefore it hasn’t provided access to the financial records of its religious organizations.
At the same time, the population of modern Estonia (more than other countries in Northern Europe) is influenced by the processes of secularization. The aim of the study is to confirm this hypothesis using data from economic and mathematical-statistical tools. Analysis of the financial activities of the leading (in the number of objects of religious infrastructure) of adherents of the EELC and EPC MP lets us state that at the moment the Church has the ability to provide its current activities, but not its development or expansion. Moreover, these religious organizations are already facing the task of losing some number of buildings belonging to them as well as the staff of priests.
Analysis of the economic activity of a religious organization is rarely used in scientific research, however, its results may be indicative of the processes and trends in the functioning of religious institutions, implementation of different aspects of churches' activities as parts of the unite confessional space.