Albania is a beautiful country located in the Balkan Peninsula on the Northern Mediterranean Sea. Bordered by Macedonia to the East, Greece to the South, Kosovo and Montenegro to the North, it is among the poorest nations in Europe and is the only majority-Muslim nation in that region.
Albania had become an independent nation in 1912 but was invaded by Italy in 1939 and was occupied by Mussolini’s forces until 1943. Then in 1943 Germany invaded and the following year became a communist nation under the ruthless leadership of General Enver Hoxha. During his reign, no religion was permitted and Hoxha prided himself in ruling over the only atheistic nation in the world. He ruled Albania until his death in 1985 and as a result of his regime, Albania became isolated internationally and economically broken. The fall of Communism had left Albania in ruins.
By 1992 Albania had begun seeking closer relationships with the West and that year the Democratic Party of Albania took control of the country. While making strides towards democratic reform, there were still serious deficiencies in the electoral code and much infighting between Socialist and Democratic leaders continued for many years. In 2005 Prime Minister Sali’s returned to power through a democratic coalition ended an 8-year Socialist Party rule.
Albania is only now beginning to rebuild as a nation. The economy remains in decline, unemployment is very high and many Albanians have left their homeland for greater employment opportunities in neighboring countries. International businesses have been slow to come to Albania due to historic national instability.
Of those in Albania practicing religion of any kind in a predominately atheistic nation, 57% are Islam and less than 1% are Evangelical Christians. Albania is rich in old world culture and ancient history and it is believed that the Apostle Paul and others would have traveled through Albania on the ancient Roman Road, across the Mediterranean to Italy and on to Rome. As was Paul’s mission to carry the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ to as many who could hear, so is it our mission at Living Water International/Adopt A Child.