Latvia is one of the three small Baltic republics, a.k.a the Baltic States.
Most Latvians belong to the small ethno-linguistic group of Balts, which also includes modern Latvians. (Proto-Balts and proto-Slavs shared common ancestry and this has led to both language families sounding the closest to each other of all the Indoeuropean languages present in Europe.) Latvia was once divided into a lot of different smaller regions and fiefdoms and this has led to the prolonged survival of several unique Baltic dialects and smaller languages (different from modern Latvian) into the present day. Sadly, many of them are endangered. Protestantism being the largest branch of Christianity in Latvia is a result of the mark left on the country by the Teutonic Order of knights, who originally created and led an order state here during the Middle Ages, but later many of their nobles adopted Protestantism in the 16th and 17th century (during the order's waning days). Due to the large influx of Russian settlers into Latvia during the Soviet era, there has been much tension between the large Russian minority and the government in Latvia after it regained independence during the early 1990s.