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Lithuania
Population (2009 est.)3,555,179
Religious DemographicsRoman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant (including Lutheran and Evangelical Christian Baptist) 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5% (2001 census)
Ethnic GroupsLithuanian 83.4%, Polish 6.7%, Russian 6.3%, other or unspecified 3.6% (2001 census)
LanguagesLithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% (2001 census)

The country has an area of 25,174 square miles and a population of 3.33 million.
The Government recognizes nine "traditional" religious groups: Latin Rite Catholics (Roman Catholics), Greek Rite Catholics, Evangelical Lutherans, Evangelical Reformed Churchgoers, Orthodox Christians (Moscow Patriarchate), Old Believers, Jews, Sunni Muslims, and Karaites.
Roman Catholicism remains dominant and influential. A 2007 poll commissioned by the Ministry of Justice indicated that 80.2 percent of respondents are Roman Catholics. The Eastern Orthodox Church, the second largest religious group, has 140,000 members (approximately 4 percent of the population), living mainly along the border with Belarus. There are 27,000 Old Believers, Russian Orthodox practitioners who do not accept the church's reforms in the 17th century. There are an estimated 20,000 Lutherans, primarily in the southwest. The Evangelical Reformed community has 7,000 members, with concentrations in Vilnius and the eastern town of Birzai. The Jewish community numbers 4,000. Almost 75 percent of the country's Jews live in Vilnius. The majority of local Jews are secular, and only an estimated 1,200 belong to one of the eight Jewish communities. The Sunni Muslim community has 2,700 members. The Greek Catholic community has an estimated 300 members.
The Karaites have been in the country since 1397. Karaites speak a Turkic-based language and use the Hebrew alphabet. Some consider Karaites to be a branch of Judaism; their religion is based exclusively on the Old Testament. The Government recognizes the Karaites as a distinct ethnic group. Two houses of worship, one in Vilnius and one in nearby Trakai, serve the Karaite religious community of approximately 250 members. The Karaites' only religious leader is also their community president.
Fewer than 5 percent of the population belongs to what the Government refers to as "nontraditional" religious communities. The most numerous of these are the Full Gospel Word of Faith Movement, Pentecostals/Charismatics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and the New Apostolic Church. A total of 1,074 "traditional" and 180 "nontraditional" religious associations, centers, and communities have officially registered with the State Registrar of Legal Entities.

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