Church History
Latvia: Overview

“Latvia: Overview,” Global Histories: Latvia (2019)

“Latvia: Overview,” Global Histories: Latvia

map of Latvia

A Brief History of the Church in



Although Mischa Markow preached the gospel in Rīga in 1903, a lasting Church presence in Latvia was not established until 1992, when Gvido and Velga Senkāns moved to Rīga, followed shortly by the first missionaries. On March 17, 1992, James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Latvia for the preaching of the gospel. Two months later, the first branch was organized.

Additional branches, both Latvian- and Russian-speaking, were organized over the next decade. In 2001 the Book of Mormon was published in Latvian, and a ceremony was held for the groundbreaking of the first Church-constructed meetinghouse in the country. Latvian Saints have worshipped together, supported each other, and contributed to their communities through regular service projects, keeping their baptismal covenant to “comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:9). By 2019 there were roughly 1,000 Latter-day Saints in Latvia, with branches in Rīga, Liepāja, and Daugavpils.

Quick Facts

  • Official Name: Republic of Latvia/Latvijas Republika

  • Capital: Rīga

  • Largest City: Rīga

  • Official Languages: Latvian

  • Land Area: 64,589 km2 (24,938 mi2)

  • Church Area: Europe East

  • Missions: 1 (Part of the Baltic Mission)

  • Congregations: 5