Albania- Wikipedia entry
World Factbook: Albania
Welcome to Albania
I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Albania, because it is the custom in that country to remove shoes in homes.
Among my best friends are a couple who served for two or three years as missionaries in Albania. The husband had been interested in Albania as a young man, but he was nto converted until his thirties and discovered his missionary call late in life. The couple would tour the various towns and villages in the mountain country and preach the gospel. The man pastored a church that they planted in the village of Terpelena.
When Albania's economy broke down completely in 1997, the country fell into civil war. As they had children, my friend's left, along with the majority of missionaries. The various churches that had been planted in the country were forced to look after themselves.
My friends are still in contact with the church they planted. They occasionally travel to Albania to visit it. The pastor of the church now is a Gypsy in his early twenties who has hardly any education and who lives in poverty. There are many problems and disagreements in this congregation, but it continues.
My friends continually receive letters from their Gypsy converts asking for money. There is simply so little economic future for the country. The best prospects for a young man in Albania lie in going to Greece to seek work.
While Albania was not on good terms with the Soviet Union, it was an extremely severe Communist regime until 1991. It was officially atheist and prohibited all religious activity. After the end of Communism, the country experienced a flood of church planting by missionaries. This has now died down. The Evangelical churches are divided and suffer from many difficulties. The challenge of planting churhces in a culture without any Christianity must have been huge.
The majority of Alabanians are nomminally Muslim, but not very strict. There is some effort to spread more rigid Islamic practise. There are Catholic and Greek Orthodox minorities. The Jehovah's Witnesses are laboring hard to make their own converts in the country.
There is a missionary organization dedicate to work amongst the Albanian people in Albania, Kosova and elsewhere. It is called the Albanian Evangelical Mission. It has a website:
Albanian Evangelical Mission