Earlier awakening movements

Protestant movements new to Estonia, including Adventists and Methodists arrived at the end of the 19th century, Pentecostalists at the end of the first decade of the 20th century.

The free-believers aroused the suspicion of central Russian powers, and their freedom of worship was curtailed. But because they had close contacts with Baptists in St Petersburg, and because the Baptist faith was permitted as a form of Protestantism in Tsarist Russia, many free-believers joined with Baptists, and consequently the Baptists became the most rapidly spreading religious movement in Estonia. 1884 is considered the year of the arrival of the Baptist faith in Estonia. The first Baptists were baptised in the Ungru River, not far from Haapsalu.

In the second half of the 19th century an awakening movement related to the Swedish free church movement emerged among Swedish-speaking people in Noarootsi and Vormsi Island. It spread to other parts of Estonia, first to Western Estonia where the Herrnhut movement was vigorous, and then to the islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa. This awakening led to the so-called free-movement, whose members, because of their enthusiastic expression of faith were also dubbed ‘the jumpers’ in contemporary journalism.

The 1980 to 1990 wave of religious awakening was not the first. Previous awakenings and arrivals of new religious movements occurred in the 1870s through the end of the first decade of the 20th century.

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