The effects of war and Communism can have long-lasting impact on people groups. In the Balkan country of Albania, years of oppression from Communism followed by devastating fighting in the 1990’s had led to it being still on of the poorest European countries.
There are approximately 3.3 million people living in Albania. While there was no religious state during Communist rule, it took until 1998 for religious freedom to be established. Even then, evangelicals were viewed as social disturbances to the Orthodox, Catholic, and Muslim people living in Albania. According to Operation World, over 50% of the population is culturally Muslim, but many of them are syncretistic—mixing Islam with other folk religions. Despite efforts to squash other religions, evangelicalism has grown in Albania in recent years and now every town and city has a group of evangelical believers.
Countries, such as Albania, are typically very ripe for the Gospel in the wake of government failure, economic instability, and absence of religion.
Ways to pray:
- The threat against freedom religious freedom is great. Pray that the years of ethnic hatred would not spill over into hatred of evangelicals. Pray that Christians would be able to worship freely and openly.
- Pray that evangelical Christians would be faithful to God’s word and be means of reconciliation and restoration in their country.
- Pray against the Muslim witness. Many Muslims have worked to distribute the Qur’an and refurbish mosques in an attempt to spread Islam.