Data on religion are used to find out the number of registered religious congregations in breakdown by denomination.
Terms and definitions
Religious congregations, religious alliances (churches) and dioceses registered in the order as stipulated by the Law on Religious Organizations. On voluntary basis believers of one religion or denomination unite in a congregation in order to carry out religious activity in a certain populated area, as well as activity of other kind taking into account the effective legislative acts.
Among establishers of congregation there must be not less than 20 Latvian citizens or persons registered in the Population Register of at least 18 years. One person has right to be the establisher of only one congregation. Each inhabitant of Latvia has right to enter a congregation and be engaged in it. Youth who have not reached 18 years can enter congregation only with a written permission of parents or guardians.
Religious alliance (church) unites congregations of one denomination in the order as stipulated by the Law on Religious Organizations. Ten (or more) congregations of one denomination registered in the Republic of Latvia can establish a religious alliance (church). This rule does not apply for religious organizations which take up their activity in Latvia for the first time and which do not belong to religious organizations already registered in the country. Congregations of one denomination can establish only one religious alliance (church) in the country. Diocese is a territorially administrative unit of organizational structure of religious alliance (church) foreseen in the canon law of the respective denomination, and it is superintended by bishop.
Diocese can be established by a religious alliance (church) with a respective decision. Institutions of religious organizations are institutions which do not have purpose of gaining profit: educational institutions of spiritual personnel, cloisters, missions, diaconal institutions and similar establishments.