Albanian in Austria

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People Name: Albanian
Country: Austria
10/40 Window: No
Population: 64,000
World Population: 5,119,100
Primary Language: Albanian, Gheg
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 39.80 %
Evangelicals: 0.40 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Albanian
Affinity Bloc: Eurasian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Albania is about the size of the US state of New Hampshire. For nearly five centuries the territory we now know as Albania was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. In 1912 Albania became an independent country.
The forty years following WWII were particularly difficult for Albania as it was under the control of the communist dictator Enver Hoxha. He proclaimed Albania as the world's first atheistic state and severely persecuting both Muslims and Christians.
Finally in 1992 the communist party was defeated in the elections and democratic forces took over the government. In the past 30 years the Albanian economy has steadily grown and Albania is no longer the poorest nation in Europe.
About half of the world's Albanians live in Albania. Others live in Kosovo, Greece, Germany, the USA, Turkey the UK, and Australia.
The first Albanian immigrated to Australia in 1885. When the United States put more restrictions on immigrants from southern Europe, Albanians went to Australia, a country that needed a higher population. Albanians typically worked as farm workers. New jobs dried up in the 1930s. A negative attitude towards Albanians continued into WWII because Australians viewed Albanians as allies with their enemies, fascist Italy. Still, many Albanians fought alongside Australians in this war. In the 1990s the Kosovo War made life unsafe for Albanians in Albania, and Australia gave temporary refuge to some. These people have returned to Europe.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The small number of ethnic Albanians in Australia live mainly in Victoria. They are integrating with Australian society, but Albanians still have their own ethnic festivals and cultural events. Albanians maintain their own music and cuisine. It is not well-known by the larger Australian population. This small community is further divided between those who are Christian and those who are Muslim.

What Are Their Beliefs?

As was mentioned earlier, Hoxha tried to stamp out religion in Albania. Before the Ottoman conquest, the majority of Albanian professed to be Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Christians. In the 17th and 18th centuries the majority of Albanians converted to Islam to avoid heavy taxes. Currently, over half of the population of Albania claims to be Muslims. Christians, mostly Eastern Orthodox, makeup about one third of Albanian peoples.
Arabs states have provided money to build mosques in Albania and to educate the Albanian Muslims in the faith.

What Are Their Needs?

All Albanians need to hear and respond to the good news about Jesus Christ. They need to understand that they can have a personal relationship with God through Christ. The Christians in Albania need priests and pastors who will teach them the Word of God and show them how to live out the gospel.

Prayer Points

Pray that Albanian Muslims will tune into gospel radio broadcasts.
Pray for Albanians to read and heed the New Testament.
Pray for a Christ-centered revival in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Albanian churches in Albania.
Ask the Lord to send Holy Spirit anointed disciple makers to Albania.
Pray that all the Albanian people all over the world would have the opportunity to hear the good news.
Pray that Christians and churches in nations where the Albanians live will reach out and build redemptive relationships with them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project