The Story of Archbishop Anastasios & the Rebirth of the Albanian Orthodox Church
by Jim Forest
Europe’s jagged east-west divide happens to run through Albania, with the Catholic Church mainly in the north and the Orthodox Church in the south. Islam arrived under force of arms in the early sixteenth century, gradually becoming the principal religion of Albania. During the Ottoman period, the penalties for failing to convert were substantial. Perhaps 10 percent of the population today is Catholic, 20 to 30 percent Orthodox, and the rest at least nominally Muslim. (There is no religious census data. Albania’s Communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, when he met Stalin in 194 . . .
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