Lithuanian in United States

Photo Source:  Milda Pupsyte 
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People Name: Lithuanian
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 40,000
World Population: 2,756,100
Primary Language: Lithuanian
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 85.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.10 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Baltic
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The ancestors of the Lithuanians came from Asia between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. Lithuania was united with Poland between the 1600s-1700s. In the late 1700s Russia took over this small country. Germany occupied Lithuania during both WWI and WWII. Russia made it part of the USSR after the war, and it remained a "Soviet Socialist Republic" until the USSR dissolved in 1991.

They have their own language by the same name, Lithuanian. It is neither Germanic nor Slavic.

Lithuanians have been migrating to other countries for work since the end of the communist era. Though the bulk of the Lithuanian population is in Lithuania, there are small numbers of them in other countries including the United States.

The first Lithuanian came to the American colonies in the 1600s. There has been a Lithuanian community in the US from the late 1800s till 1918. They came to evade a poor economy, religious and political persecution, and conscription in the Russian military. Many heard glowing reports about opportunities in the US.

After their country was overrun first by the German Nazis and then by the Russian communists, Lithuanians came to the US as refugees. Some took on common jobs as factory workers while those with a good education became doctors and engineers. They have climbed up the social ladder as they became Americanized. Ethnic Lithuanians are most likely to be found in Illinois and Pennsylvania, though they live in many other states as well.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Lithuanians have made their mark in America on a number of fronts. There have been professional athletes, entertainers, artists and medical professionals.

Lithuanians have many dishes with sour cream. One of their favorites is saltibarsciai, a cold soup with sour cream and buttermilk as its base. Saltibarsciai includes sliced cucumber, green onions and hard boiled eggs. They also like mildly spiced roasted meats.

In their spare time, Lithuanians enjoy basketball. They love saunas so much that they consider them a necessity.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They are mainly cultural Roman Catholics. Many are secular, partly because of their communist past. Yet many came to the US to escape religious persecution from the Soviets.

What Are Their Needs?

Like people everywhere, the Lithuanians need to put Jesus Christ central in their lives so they can enjoy his perfect guidance and mercy.

Prayer Points

Pray that God will show the best ways to evangelize the Lithuanians.

Pray that when Lithuanians face troubles, they will turn to Jesus Christ for answers.

Pray for spiritual hunger and a desire for truth among the Lithuanians in the US.

Pray for Lithuanian disciples to make more disciples, especially among family leaders.

Text Source:   Joshua Project