Albania, Southeast Europe
Political Leader: President Bamir Topi
Religions: Christianity 41.5%, Islam 38.8%, Other 19.7%
Persecution Ranking: Not Ranked
Number of Terrorist Groups: 1
Acts of Terrorism: 51; Casualties: 6
Percent of Corruption: 74%
% of People in Poverty: 25%
Albania, officially known as the Republic of Albania, is a country in southeastern Europe. It borders Montenegro to the north, Serbia to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and a coast on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. Seventy percent of the country is mountainous and rugged, making that region often inaccessible.
Albania pledged to increase its contribution of troops to both Afghanistan and Iraq, maintained frozen bank accounts related to money laundering and terrorism financing, and aggressively worked with the United States and other countries to combat terrorism, according to Country Reports on Terrorism 2007. Albania made progress in identifying vulnerabilities at land and sea borders, but the government and police forces continued to face substantial challenges to fully enforce border security and combat organized crime and corruption. In December 2006, Hamzeh Abu Rayyan, the administrator for terrorist financier Yassin Al-Kadi, was charged with hiding funds used to finance terror. This marked the first criminal terror finance-related case charged in Albania. A civil suit filed by al-Kadi to release his assets from seizure was originally dismissed for technical reasons but was refiled in July 2007.
Challenges for Christians:
Culturally, Albania is Muslim and a major target for Muslim countries to send missionaries, but most Albanians do not have much understanding of Islam. In 1995. Albania was the most heavily “evangelized” nation in Europe by both Christians and Muslims.
- Pray for Albania to continue to crack down on terrorism financing and work with the U.S. and other countries to combat terrorism.
- Albanians have suffered through some terrible times. Under communism, 700,000 people were killed or imprisoned and the country has struggled to regain a sense of peace and order. Pray that the country’s leaders will work for a lasting peace that is honest and fair.
- Pray for Albanians to meet Jesus and follow Him in a way that is culturally appropriate.
- Most ethnic Albanians are Muslims and live outside Albania in Kosovo or Macedonia. Pray that they would have opportunities to hear the Gospel.
Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors