Protestant Reformation Map

Just something interesting I found on Wikipedia. Thankfully it didn’t stay this widespread. I might say “nadir” instead of “peak”, but whatever, here it is for your perusal.

Southeastern Poland with Calvinists is an interesting thing to contemplate.

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Also note that in Romania (Transylvania) were Unitarian, Calvinist, and Lutheran.

Depraved vampires. (I know - I’m a day or 2 late for the Halloween jokes, but I couldn’t resist.)


Interesting to see Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania as Protestant in that map. I wonder if they still are or are Eastern Orthodox now.

Lithuania is overwhelmingly Catholic. Estonia and Latvia are mixed Lutheran, Catholic, and Orthodox (as witnessed by the supposedly fictitious “Latvian Orthodox Church” in an episode of Seinfeld, which, as it turns out, actually exists!)


Some areas were classified on the basis of “Cuius Regio, Euius Religio”
Meaning the ruler’s religion becomes everyone’s religion, at least on paper.
Enforcement likely varied a lot.

So it’s hard to say which parts reflect the current dominant faith of a plurality of people.


In the Protestant monastery near where I live (in Western Switzerland), a lot of the novices and younger sisters, most of whom land here through a first contact with the community in Taizé, are from Central Europe, Scandinavia or Baltic countries.

Estonia is one of those “least religious” countries. It’s Lutheran like Sweden or Finland is Lutheran.

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I am so thankful we have moved beyond that kind of feudal ignorance.

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In the US paganism occasionally flared up, especially a few decades ago, mostly as an ostentatious reaction against the then-strong Christian culture. I never saw anything like what I read about ancient pagan religion.

Estonia might be a very different story.

This in itself is intriguing.

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We have a few here, although exclusively feminine. Post-Vatican II ecumenism had the (positive, I think) effect of making historical Protestant traditions realize they might have thrown out the baby with the bathwater when they emptied the monasteries.

Protestant churches are still waiting for their masculine orders, though. Protestant men with a monastic vocation mostly go to Taizé or Bose, both ecumenical communities, or become hermits.

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There is no reason, in the nature of things, why Protestants could not have monastic communities that seek to follow perfectly the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. However, as a general rule, the more conservative evangelicals (Baptists, Pentecostals, Holiness et al) just make the assumption that everybody gets married and, if nature permits, have children. I have to wonder how comfortable a church home they are for involuntarily same-sex-attracted people who choose to obey the Scriptures and live celibately, rather than offend God by practicing sodomy. “Back in the day” many of them just went ahead and got married, possibly taking their SSA to the grave with them.

Yes. In fact, some historians argue that the Protestant reformation did not so much empty the monasteries as turn whole societies into communities of sorts, regulated by a common set of rules, where marriage and family life were seen as the main path to holiness.


None of those countries are primarily Eastern Orthodox.

Thanks for that info. I wouldn’t have guessed that.

You might find this interesting.

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Some 2011 Statistics

Estonia: 16% Orthodox, 10% Lutheran
Latvia: 34% Lutheran, 24% Catholic, 19% Orthodox
Lithuania: 77% Catholic, 5% Orthodox

That’s because it’s not “southeastern Poland.”

The ‘problem’ with this map is that it purports to depict the state of affairs in the 16th and early 17th centuries, but it shows the political boundaries of the present day.

What you’re seeing as ‘Poland’ looks to me more like Lithuania (of that period). And, in the late 1500s, Calvinism took root there.

Today. In the 1500s, not as much.


Well, ceteris paribus — all other things held constant, wars, partitions, border redrawings, etc., southeastern Poland would have been Calvinist today.

I have a really hard time squinting my eyes and imagining that.

FWIW, I was married in southeastern Poland and my son’s grandparents live there. I can’t see Babcia as a Calvinist.

Again, referring to today’s Lithuania, given all the other historical events between then and now.

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