Albania
Republic of Albania
February 9
Europe

Answers to Prayer

1 The dictator, Enver Hoxha's, proud boast of eliminating all religion in 1967 has been overturned with over 74% of the population claiming a faith in God

2 Religious freedom was declared in the 1998 constitution despite strong efforts to limit it by the four 'traditional' communities

3 Every town and city now has a group of evangelical believers

4 Radio Tirana was built to propagate atheism. TWR now broadcasts from this station 80 hours weekly

Challenges for Prayer

1 Albania's experience with Communism has been economically, morally and spiritually devastating

2 Religious freedom could be withdrawn

3 Muslim countries have poured in huge amounts of aid and missionaries

4 The evangelical witness in Albania has grown dramatically since 1991.

5 The training of leaders after the devastations wrought by the Communists

6 Evangelical mission agencies have multiplied

a) Unity

b) Long-term vision and goals

c) Wisdom in transition from aid to development

d) Tact and discernment as Albanian leadership emerges

7 The least reached-minorities:

a) The 300,000 Bektashi are a Sufi dervish movement not recognized as Muslims by the Sunni majority

b) The Vlach (related to the Romanians), Macedonians and Greeks are culturally Orthodox

c) The Gorani and Pataree Macedonians who are culturally Muslim

d) The Roma speak Romany or Albanian and often live in town ghettos

8 The Albanian diaspora

a) Kosovar Albanians who are 98% Muslim with very few Christians

b) Albanians living in the adjoining regions of Macedonia (nearly one million) and Montenegro (35,000)

c) Albanians in the EU

9 Christian help ministries:

a) Distribution of the Scriptures is vital

b) Christian, Muslim and cult literature has flooded into Albania

c) The JESUS film in both Gheg and Tosk is being widely and effectively used

d) Christian radio

Geography


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Area 28,748 sq.km. A mountainous Balkan state on the Adriatic Sea, adjoining Yugoslavia (Montenegro and Kosovo/Serbia), Macedonia and Greece.

Population (2000) 3,113,434 -0.40%AGR

Capital Tirana 275,000.

Peoples

Albanian 91.5%; Other 8.5%.

Literacy 92%. Official language Albanian. All languages 6. Languages with Scriptures 3Bi 1NT 1por 1w.i.p.

Economy

The combined effects of wars, 46 years of nationalistic Marxism and the chaotic situation in the Balkans in the 1990s have ensured its continuation as one of Europe's poorest countries. HDI 0.699; 100th/174. Public debt 24% of GNP. Income/person est. $670 (2.2% of USA).

Politics

The Communist regime imposed on the country in 1945 crumbled in 1991 soon after Dictator Enver Hoxha's death.

Religion

No religion was allowed to exist in Communist Albania.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Christian 41.48 1,291,452 +2.7%
Muslim 38.79 1,207,701 +0.5%
non-Religious/other 19.54 608,365 -6.9%
Baha'i 0.18 5,604 +12.0%
Jewish 0.01 311 n.a.
Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 9 0.15 5 +15.6%
Independent 14 0.25 8 +13.4%
Catholic 1 16.75 521 +1.5%
Orthodox 2 24.09 750 +3.5%
Marginal 2 0.24 7 +20.1%

Churches in Albania

Missionaries from Albania

50 in 6 agencies.

Missionaries to Albania

460 in 71 agencies


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