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Ethnic Albanians are probably descendants of the Illyrians who were the original inhabitants of the western Balkan Peninsula. In the sixth century, migrating Slavs began to settle on Illyrian territory and pushed the Illyrians into what is present-day Albania.
Before the Communist Era, Albanians were a tribal people who lived in extended family units called fis. The fis had many old traditions, such as the vendettas, or "blood feuds," which often lasted for several generations. For protection during these feuds, families lived in fortified stone buildings called kulas.
Albanians are divided into two major groups, the Gheg and the Tosk, according to which Albanian dialect they speak. Albanians in Kosovo are almost always Gheg. The Gheg are noted for their sternness and courage.
Though most Albanians still live in Albania, they have also moved to many other countries in search of better economic opportunities. This includes Finland.
A high percentage of Albanian women experience domestic abuse at some time. Albanians are trying to earn a better living in Finland while learning to deal with a different language and culture.
Centuries ago, most Gheg Albanians were converted to Islam by the Ottoman Turks. However, they practiced a type of folk Islam which embraced occult practices such as praying to the dead, seeking cures for sickness, and praying for protection from spirits and curses. Though ethnic Albanians have leaned towards the Sunni Islam they inherited from the Ottomans, a minority adhere to the traditional Orthodox forms of Christianity.
Albanians around the world often need job training and better education so they can earn higher incomes.
Pray for the Lord to raise up selfless believers to help the Albanians develop their economy so there will be adequate employment and a workable infrastructure.
Pray for an unstoppable movement of Albanian believers discipling others who will disciple still others.
Pray for a spiritual thirst for the water of life among Albanians everywhere.