New Archbishop: Estonians are very religious ({{commentsTotal}})

The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) Archbishop-elect Urmas Viilma said Estonians are very religious, but how many are church members, is a different question.

“I believe the Estonian people are very religious. Whether all belong to the church or love the institutionalized church, that is another question,” he told ETV.

Viilma has been elected to the position for a decade, saying that he now has more time to implement changes.

EELK has had only nine different church heads since 1919 and Viilma will be the youngest to take office.

Viilma will take over from the caretaker bishop Einar Soone on February 2, and will have to name candidates who oversee the administration of the church by mid-January. Viilma said there will be no sweeping changes in the top staff.

Former Archbishop Andres Põder stepped down on Saturday, the day he turned 65, as required by church law. Viilma was elected to take over by the church's council, receiving a majority in the second round of voting.

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