A recent article on BBC claims that Estonia is the least religious country in the world, with only about 16% of people believing in the existence of a Creator.
Another article today in the Guardian, questions that slightly, suggesting that Estonian neo-paganism and belief in a spirit or life force of some sort means that about 70% of Estonians believe in something. Just not necessarily the Judeo-Christian God.
I have seen Mormon missionaries in my neighborhood, and have thought they must be incredibly frustrated here.
But last night, I had an encounter that surprised me.
Part of the security of my building is that you can't just walk in off the street. You either have to have a fob or someone has to let you in. So I was surprised last night when my buzzer rang. I wasn't expecting guests.
I answered the phone, and a woman in English said she was conducting a poll on whether people thought it was reasonable to believe in a Creator.
I said yes I did (and I do, though that said, I really like that Estonia is not religious because no one feels the need to convert me to their particular brand of belief).
She said, well you know, living in Estonia, most people do not think it is reasonable.
Yes, I know that.
Can we leave you some literature?
Yes, leave it outside the door.
Then I hung up and attempted to go back to eating my late lunch.
The phone buzzed again.
This time, the woman wanted me to buzz her in so she could leave her literature in my mailbox.
Uh, no. I don't let people in who I don't know. That sort of defeats the purpose of having security.
I told her to leave the brochure outside the door. A friend on Facebook suggested they might be Jehovah's Witnesses. Really? In Estonia?
I went downstairs later that evening and found the literature.
Sure enough, it was Watchtower, aka Jehovah's Witnesses.
I bet they are just as frustrated here as the Mormons.