Eesti Kirikute Nõukogu

EKN in english

Estonian Council of Churches


The objective of media work of the Estonian Council of Churches (EEC) is active and comprehensive communication with society to raise general awareness on Christianity and its teachings. The EEC also participates in public discussions as a sign of openness of churches towards society.

One of the main avenues of work over the years has been good cooperation with the Estonian Public Broadcasting Company.

Series “Temporal and Eternal”

The series “Temporal and Eternal” (Ajalik ja ajatu) has been broadcast on Sundays on Estonian Television (ETV) for many years, featuring representatives of the clergy of the member churches, as well as notable cultural and art figures, scientists and people from other areas of life. The series mainly focuses on current issues in church and society, as well as general presentation of Christianity. The series is available for viewing on demand in the archive website of the ETV at

Morning prayers and broadcasts from services

On Christian festivals and public holidays, Estonian Television often transmits live broadcasts from services. Morning prayers are included in radio programmes of the Vikerraadio and Klassikaraadio channels of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Company. On Vikerraadio, a morning meditation is broadcast around 6:32 on weekdays and a morning prayer is aired at 7:35 on Sundays. On Klassikaraadio, morning prayers are broadcast daily at 7:15. The morning prayers of the past month are available for listening on demand at the website under the menu “Kuula saadte arhiivi” (Programme archive) and link “Hommikumõtisklus” (Morning meditation).

Broadcasts from services are transmitted on Vikerraadio and Klassikaraadio channels of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Company on major Christian festivals: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Day.

Programme “Church Life”

“Church Life” (Kirikuelu) is a Christian news programme on Vikerraadio, a radio channel of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Company. Presentations of various church institutions, organisations and phenomena and reports on the problems in church life are also important parts of the programme. “Church Life” (Kirikuelu) is available for listening on demand at the website under the menu “Kuula saadete arhiivi” (Programme archive).

Wayfarers’ Churches project

The aim of the project is to provide information on Estonian churches, which are open during the summer season, to tourists visiting Estonia as well as local travellers. The churches that have joined the project are open on summer weekdays to all visitors. They can step inside and experience the rich spiritual and cultural heritage of a church building. More information on the project is available at

The Estonian Council of Churches is also represented at the Estonian Press Council, an organisation set up for media self-regulation (


The objective of the ECC in the field of education is to promote Christian education.

What is Religious Education?

Religious Education is a school subject presenting various religions and religious movements, based on the principles of freedom of religion and freedom of thought.

Classes of Religious Education enable students to learn about manifestations of religion in culture and in the life of individuals and society. Class discussions mainly revolve around existential issues.

The classes of Religious Education are based on the respective national curriculum, which is independent and separate of any missionary efforts of any particular church or religious association.

The classes of Religious Education provide students with basic knowledge on religion, serving as the foundation for freedom of religion in society.

Magazine “Christian Education”

The ECC supports publication of the magazine “Christian Education” (Kristlik Kasvatus). The target group of the magazine includes school and Sunday school teachers, university students, nursery school teachers and parents. Three issues are published per year, with informative articles to support and clarify matters of Christian education.

Legislation of the Republic of Estonia – Syllabus of Religious Education, Annex 9 – Syllabus of Religious Education, Annex 10


The objective of the ECC in the field of sociology of religion is to study people´s religious attitudes using sociological methods.

The first sociological survey of religion took place in 1995, organised by the Estonian Council of Churches, the Estonian Bible Society and the Estonian Evangelical Alliance. The population was represented in this letter survey by a sample of 1,551 persons (914 Estonians and 637 people of other ethnic origins). An additional survey of 1,006 parishioners and 353 ministers of the member churches of the ECC was conducted as well. The collected data provided an overview of the opinions, attitudes and expectations of the people in several religious matters, enabling to modify routine church practices accordingly. The results of the survey were presented to the public through various media outlets as well as in a statistical collection of questionnaire responses  (“Elust, usust ja usuelust”, Tallinn, 1996).

Estonian society has undergone several changes and the population´s attitudes towards religion have changed as well to a certain extent. The second sociological survey of religion was ordered by the ECC and was conducted in February 2000. Hans Hansen, PhD, was the initiator, soul and motor behind both surveys.

In 2003, the ECC working group on sociology of religion conducted a survey of morals and values of Estonian people, coordinated by Kalmer Marimaa. However, the survey was not limited to an analysis of values and morals. The respondents were also asked questions about their recreational activities and participation in various citizens’ associations, culture consumption, sensitivity to important social issues, and opinions about teaching religion in schools. Furthermore, the survey examined attitudes towards family and partnership, the sanctity of human life, aspects of various life situations and daily choices. The respondents’ trust in various institutions, such as the government, the Riigikogu, the education system and the judicial system, was measured as well. These are only some of the issues covered by this survey.

The third survey on “Life, Religion and Religious Life” was conducted in 2005-2006. The latter two surveys were organised by Eva-Liisa Jaanus, assistant in sociology of religion at the ECC,

The ECC´s fourth sociological survey on religion under the heading “Life, Religion and Religious Life”, supervised by Eerik Jõks, was conducted in 2010 in cooperation with the market research company Saar Poll OÜ. The databases of previous surveys were rearranged to ensure comparability of the four surveys. The surveys were presented at a press conference in Tallinn and a research conference on 4 November 2010 in Tartu. In addition, a collection of articles on sociology of religion, “Astu alla rahva hulka” (Step Down among the People), was published in 2012. 

The objective of chaplaincy is to provide religious ministry in a secular environment.

Currently, chaplaincy services are operating in the Defence Forces, in prisons and police detention facilities, the Police and Border Guard Board, Muuga Harbour, some schools, hospitals and welfare institutions. Chaplaincy services are offered by ordained clergy of the member churches of the ECC.

Chaplaincy service of the Estonian Defence Forces

The chaplaincy service of the Defence Forces serves the units and divisions of the Defence Forces and the Defence League in Estonia and at foreign missions.

The chaplaincy service is an institution that supports the main objectives of the Defence Forces by offering ecumenical ministry services to all members of the Defence Forces and the Defence League, as well as their family members, depending on their religious needs and irrespective of their religious affiliation or non-affiliation. The chaplaincy service also serves and supports the families of deceased members of the Defence Forces.

The chaplaincy service emphasises the importance of the human being and ethical values in the Defence Forces.

The mission of the chaplaincy service is to support and increase the efficiency of the Defence Forces as a whole in performing its main task by taking care of comprehensive professional religious and spiritual support and counselling of the leadership and troops of the Defence Forces together with their families.

Prison chaplaincy service

The task of the prison chaplaincy service is to cater for the religious needs of imprisoned persons and to contribute to re-socialisation of former prisoners. For that purpose, chaplains perform religious rites and offer individual pastoral care, as well as counselling on religious and ethical issues, and organise social programmes with religious orientation. Chaplains also contribute to reconciliation and counselling of imprisoned persons and their families, and coordinate the work of volunteers from different churches and religions. If necessary, chaplains can provide religious counselling to other prison officials. The staff of the prison chaplaincy service also includes chaplains of police detention facilities.

Estonian Seamen´s Mission

Estonian Seamen´s Mission is a Christian non-profit organisation established to provide religious ministry for seamen and their family members, as well as to perform social administration tasks at the Seamen´s Home in Muuga Harbour.


The aim of the ECC in the field of ecumenism is development of cooperation and joint projects between the different denominations represented in the Estonian Council of Churches.

This includes promotion of theological dialogue between members churches of the ECC, regular organisation of project competitions, granting of annual awards and organisation of ecumenical services.

Ecumenical annual awards

The annual award of the Estonian Council of Churches is granted for outstanding contribution to an ecumenical field.

Recipients can be individuals or organisations that have embodied the unity of the Church as Christ’s Body in its diversity through their work.

All permanent residents of Estonia can nominate candidates, but candidates may not nominate themselves.

The award together with a letter of appreciation is presented at the start of a church year.

Collection “History of Estonian Ecumenism”

The year 2009 was the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Estonian Council of Churches.

To celebrate this occasion, the ECC published a collection of studies detailing the development of ecumenical movement in Estonia. The book provides a good overview of the past and present ecumenical cooperation between Estonia’s Christian churches.

The aim of the book is to demonstrate to society how Christian principles have created a foundation for extensive cooperation for the benefit of Estonian people.

The objective of the ECC in the field of values is to demonstrate initiative in presenting a Christian interpretation of ethical problems in society and proposing potential solutions.

Particular attention is paid to issues of pregnancy termination through publication of respective information resources and organisation of training events and workshops. A project for training and counselling pregnancy crisis counsellors has been initiated through the Foundation for Appreciation of Life. A school programme “My Choices” is offered to general education schools. Preservation of marriage values is supported through PREP relationship training. These training events have received very good feedback.