YoungLife Belarus & Baltics
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Area Info

Belarus
Belarus is landlocked, surrounded by Russian (to the east), Ukraine (to to the south), Poland (to the west), Lithuania, and Latvia. Belarus means "white Russia", though there are close ties with Russia today, historians suggests Belarus' roots may be more from the Baltic area than Russian (which was a popular belief under the Russification policy of the Soviet Union).

Baltic countries
The reference to the Baltic countries (or Baltic States) refers to the countries that border the eastern part of the Baltic Sea in Europe. Traditionally, it refers to Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia, however also bordering the Baltic Sea on the east is Kaliningrad and Poland.

The Baltic states were annexed by the USSR during and after World War II, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were known as the Baltic Soviet Republics until all three countries regained their independence when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Today, the Baltic countries are members of the European Union having undergone democratic & economic reforms. Each country has its own distinctive language and culture.

 

Population
Belarus - 9,500,000
Estonia – 1,340,000
Kaliningrad – 430,000
Lithuania – 3,370,000
Latvia – 2,270,000
Poland – 38,000,000

Capitals
Belarus - Minsk
Estonia Tallinn
Kaliningrad (exclave of Russia)
Lithuania Vilnius
Latvia Riga
Poland - Warsaw

Youth Culture
The Children and youth are a part of the most fragile and offer the greatest future for each country. There is a lack of youth activity in Belarus, boredom and restlessness result in a high youth drinking & smoking rate.

In the Baltic countries rapid change and prosperity has caused many youth to feel they do not need to hear or engage in religious activities resulting in a sharp decline in church attendance.

Young Life works to help alleviate physical and spiritual hardship and build resilience and hope in all teenagers.

 

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