Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania-Supporters

Δευτέρα, 30 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Orthodox Church of Albania 1991-2008, part 1 of 2

Πέμπτη, 26 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Mesha e ortodoksëve - Top Channel Albania - News - Lajme

Aγιορείτης έγινε επίσκοπος στην Εκκλησία της Αλβανίας


Ο Αγιορείτης αρχιμανδρίτης Ναθαναήλ Λαυριώτης, που για πολλά χρόνια υπηρετεί ως ιεροκήρυκας στη Μητρόπολη Αργυροκάστρου, χειροτονήθηκε επίσκοπος στην Εκκλησία της Αλβανίας από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αναστάσιο. Θα είναι βοηθός του Μητροπολίτη Αργυροκάστρου Δημητρίου. Ο θεοφιλέστατος κατάγεται από τα Τρίκαλα και ήταν ιερομόναχος στη μονή Μεγίστης Λαύρας του Αγίου Όρους. Χαρακτηριστικό της πολυετούς διακονίας του στην Αλβανία ήταν οι εκατοντάδες βαπτίσεις και γάμοι, που τέλεσε. Μιλώντας την αλβανική γλώσσα, έχει επικοινωνία με τους Αλβανούς ορθόδοξους, πολλούς από τους οποίους έχει κατηχήσει. Το έργο του έχει απήχηση κυρίως στους Αλβανούς Ορθόδοξους, γιατί μιλάει την αλβανική γλώσσα. Τόσα έτη, υπό την καθοδήγηση του συνετού Μητροπολίτου Αργυροκάστρου Δημητρίου, ο οποίος ξεχωρίζει για το εκκλησιαστικό ήθος του, ο π. Ναθαναήλ επιτέλεσε μεγάλο κατηχητικό έργο. Με τη νέα χειροτονία επισκόπου ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αναστάσιος, που διαθέτει διεθνή ακτινοβολία και κύρος, θέλησε να ενισχύσει ακόμη περισσότερο την ορθοδοξία στην Αλβανία.

Τρίτη, 24 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Η ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑ ΑΛΒΑΝΙΑΣ και το ΕΡΓΟ του ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ κ. ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΙΟΥ.

 

 

Του Συντάκτου του www.Apodimos.com  Γιάννη Τόλια.
  Πολλα χρόνια πέρασαν από τις 16 Ιουλίου 1991, τότε που έφθασε στην Αλβανία ως Έξαρχος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου ο νυν αρχιεπίσκοπος Τιράνων και πάσης Αλβανίας κ.Αναστάσιος. Τον τότε επίσκοπο για το οποίο, η κοινή γνώμη, μέσα από τις παρουσιάσεις του στην Τηλεόραση και στα ΜΜΕ, εκτιμούσε αφάνταστα, και οι λόγοι του μένανε ανεξίτηλοι.




Ο τοτε Επίσκοπος της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αθηνών κ.Αναστάσιος μαζί με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο, επί της εποχής που ήταν Αρχιεπίσκοπος ο μακαριστός Σεραφείμ ήταν οι πλέον καταξιωμένοι στην Αρχιεπισκοπή Αθηνών και ο λαός της πόλης των Αθηνών και οι γνώστες των θεμάτων που αφορούσαν την εκλογή των μητροπολιτών, βρισκόντουσαν σε απορία για την μη εκλογή των πιο πάνω Επισκόπων στην Εκκλησία της Ελλάδος, ώστε να εξασκήσουν το έργο τους μέσα από την καθοδήγηση του ποιμνίου, σε μια από τις Μητροπόλεις της Ελλάδας. Όμως ο Άγιος Θεός μέσα από την απόφαση του Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως κ. Βαρθολομαίου έδωσε την δυνατότητα και στους δυο αυτούς ιεράρχες να ευλογούν τα ποίμνια των περιοχών της Αμερικής USA και Αλβανίας, σαν Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αλβανίας ο κ. Αναστάσιος και σαν Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής ο κ. Δημήτριος. Όλοι θυμούνται σε συνέντευξη που είχε κάνει στην Ελληνική Τηλεόραση λέγοντας «Προσευχήθηκα όταν άκουσα την τηλεφωνική πρόταση από το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο Κωνσταντινουπόλεως την πρόταση, για την ανάληψη αυτής της θέσεως στην Εκκλησία της Αλβανίας (που είχε τόσα προβλήματα) διότι βρισκόμουν στο εξωτερικό για Ιεραποστολικό έργο, και απήντησα μετά μια μέρα σταθμίζοντας όλες τις προεκτάσεις»    
Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αλβανίας κ. Αναστάσιος κατάφερε μέσα από πλήθος δυσκολιών και αντίξοων συνθηκών να ανασυγκροτήσει την Ορθόδοξη Αυτοκέφαλη Εκκλησία της Αλβανίας. Είχε προηγηθεί από το καθεστώς Χότζα (1967-1990) η απαγόρευση κάθε θρησκευτικής δραστηριότητας, συνέπεια της οποίας ήταν να ξεριζωθεί πλήρως η Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία. Όταν έφθασε ο αρχιεπίσκοπος κ. Αναστάσιος αντίκρισε μια χαώδης κατάσταση την οποία κανείς δε μπορεί να φανταστεί. Οι εκκλησίες είχαν γίνει στάβλοι και αποθήκες και υπήρχαν ελάχιστοι υπερήλικες κληρικοί.
Στα χρόνια αυτά πέρασαν:
¨      Ανασυστάθηκαν ορθόδοξες ενορίες στις περισσότερες πόλεις με ορθόδοξο πληθυσμό και σε εκατοντάδες χωριά.
¨      Χειροτονήθηκαν από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο περισσότεροι από 120 νέοι κληρικοί.
¨      Οργανώθηκαν Σύνδεσμοι Γυναικών, Νεολαίας και Διανοουμένων.
¨      Ιδρύθηκε
o       η Ορθόδοξη Θεολογική Ακαδημία «Ανάστασις» στο Δυρράχιο το 1992
o       και το εκκλησιαστικό Λύκειο «Τίμιος Σταυρός» στο Αργυρόκαστρο το 1998, τα οποία σήμερα λειτουργούν σε ιδιόκτητα συγκροτήματα.
Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αλβανίας κ. Αναστάσιος
¨      συνέστησε την Τεχνική Υπηρεσία της Εκκλησίας
¨      μερίμνησε για την ανοικοδόμηση (αναστήλωση ή επισκευή) 290 ναών (80 εκ θεμελίων) και 20 εκκλησιαστικών κέντρων (αρχιεπισκοπή, μητροπόλεις, σχολεία, κλινικές, ξενώνες, κατασκηνώσεις νέων κ.α.).
¨      ανέπτυξε φιλανθρωπική δράση διανέμοντας εκατοντάδες τόνους τροφίμων, ρούχων και φαρμάκων.
¨      μερίμνησε για τη δημιουργία τεχνικών εργαστηρίων της Εκκλησίας της Αλβανίας (τυπογραφείο, ξυλουργείο, κηροπλαστείο, εργαστήριο αγιογραφίας και συντηρήσεως εικόνων).
Ακόμα ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αναστάσιος ίδρυσε :
¨      την πρώτη Ορθόδοξη Αλβανική εφημερίδα «Ngjallja»,
¨      το περιοδικό «Gezohu»,
¨      το δελτίο «News from Orthodoxy in Albania»
¨      και ένα ραδιοφωνικό σταθμό.
Φρόντισε για τη μετάφραση και την έκδοση στην αλβανική γλώσσα λειτουργικών και άλλων χριστιανικών βιβλίων. Συνέδεσε την Εκκλησία της Αλβανίας με διεθνείς εκκλησιαστικούς οργανισμούς. Παρέμεινε κοντά στο λαό της χώρας ακόμη και στις πιο σκληρές δοκιμασίες, αγωνιζόμενος πάντα για την ειρήνη και την ομόνοια. Παράλληλα με τη γενική ανασύσταση της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αλβανίας κ. Αναστάσιος ανέπτυξε πρωτοποριακά προγράμματα στους τομείς υγείας, παιδείας, κοινωνικής πρόνοιας, αγροτικής αναπτύξεως, πολιτισμού και οικολογίας. Για παράδειγμα ίδρυσε το Διαγνωστικό Ιατρικό Κέντρο με 24 ειδικότητες στα Τίρανα, τρία πολυϊατρεία σε άλλες πόλεις, το πρώτο στην Αλβανία Ινστιτούτο Επαγγελματικής Κατάρτισης (ΙΕΚ) με έξι ειδικότητες και 12 νηπιαγωγεία σε διάφορες πόλεις. Φρόντισε για την κατασκευή δρόμων, υδραγωγείων, γεφυρών, την επισκευή δημόσιων σχολείων κ.α.
Το 1999 στην κρίση του Κοσσυφοπεδίου οργάνωσε ανθρωπιστικό πρόγραμμα σε διάφορες αλβανικές πόλεις, το οποίο παρείχε βοήθεια σε περίπου 30.000 πρόσφυγες. Κατά την ένταση Ελλάδας – Αλβανίας συνέβαλε στην εκτόνωση και στην προσέγγιση των δύο χωρών.
Με τις πρωτοβουλίες αυτές δόθηκε εργασία σε χιλιάδες ανθρώπους, δημιουργήθηκαν σοβαρά έργα κοινωνικής υποδομής και η Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία της Αλβανίας αναδείχθηκε σε πολυδύναμο πνευματικό και αναπτυξιακό παράγοντα της γειτονικής χώρας.
            Τώρα τίθεται το ερώτημα εάν έχει επισκεφθεί κάποιος την Αλβανία τώρα μετά την προσφορά του έργου του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αλβανίας ; Η απάντηση από όλους θα είναι αρνητική διότι στην Αλβανία σε ένα καθεστώς όπου :
¨      τα μικρά παιδιά, όταν δεν παίζουν πάνω στα σκουπίδια
¨      τα μικρά παιδιά κουβαλούνε το πόσιμο νερό με τα καρότσια της οικοδομής στο σπίτι
¨      μπορεί κανείς να διδαχθεί πολλά για τον σκληρότατο αγώνα της επιβίωσης που γεννά τους ισχυρούς του αύριο
¨      υπάρχουν κάτοικοι που κατακτούν τη ζωή με τέτοιο μόχθο και τέτοια πίστη, που εμείς, πια, ίσως δεν μπορούμε ούτε καν να φανταστούμε
Κρίμα. Διότι υπάρχει η κυρίαρχη, κεντρική φυσιογνωμία σε αυτόν τον αγώνα, ένας Έλληνας ιεράρχης ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αλβανίας κ. Αναστάσιος. Ο άνθρωπος που μέσα σε δώδεκα και πλέον χρόνια , έχτισε την ορθόδοξη εκκλησία της Αλβανίας από το μηδέν, έχοντας την πρώτη πενταετία να αντιμετωπίσει το έμπρακτο μίσος του αυταρχικότερου καθεστώτος, που το θυμίζουν ακόμα οι σφαίρες που μένουν και σήμερα καρφωμένες στα τζάμια του γραφείου του. Σε αυτήν τη Χώρα, που κάποτε προσπάθησε να διώξει τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο ακόμα και με ειδική συνταγματική μεταρρύθμιση, εκείνος είναι σήμερα ο κυριότερος ίσως πόλος μετάβασής από τον 19ον στον 21ον αιώνα. Κι αυτό ακριβώς το έργο είναι που δίνει στον τολμηρό πνευματικό λόγο του Αρχιεπισκόπου και καθηγητή με πολυετή παρουσία στη διεθνή βιβλιογραφία και πρωτοπόρου μελετητή του Ισλάμ, ήδη από τη δεκαετία του 1970, αλήθεια και εγκυρότητα που, μάλλον, δεν έχουν όμοιό τους στις μέρες μας.
            Αυτή την Εκκλησία της Αλβανίας όλοι μας πρέπει να την βοηθήσουμε προς Δόξα Θεού είτε είναι Αρχιεπίσκοποι εύρωστων περιοχών, είτε απόδημοι έλληνες, από όλο τον κόσμο, με τους Οργανισμούς τους, είτε η ελληνική κυβέρνηση που μέσα από το ΥΠΕΞ μπορεί να προσφέρει πολλά, είτε είναι ανώνυμοι έλληνες, διότι η Εκκλησία της Αλβανίας έχει πολλές ανάγκες.  Το http://www.apodimos.com/ και το http://www.teodromion.com/ θα είναι δίπλα στον Έλληνα ιεράρχη ο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αλβανίας κ. Αναστάσιο με σκοπό να βοηθήσει το έργο του.

Krishtlindjet në Mitropolinë e Gjirokastrës



Atmosfera festive në qytetin e Gjirokastrës nisi të ndihej që prej datës 22 dhjetor ku i gjithë qyteti i gurtë ishte mbuluar nga dëbora. Ngrohtësinë e festave e sollën edhe fëmijët e vegjël të shkollës dhe kopshtit "Frymë Dashurie", të cilët me rastin e festave kishin organizuar një program me këngë dhe vjersha. Edhe pse moti ishte i keq dhe rrugët ishin të bllokuara nga dëbora, besimtarë të shumtë e prisnin me padurim lindjen e Shpëtimtarit. Të shumtë ishin besimtarët në kishat e "Kryeengjëjve" dhe të "Metamorfozës".
Në kishën e Metamorfozës, Liturgjinë Hyjnore e kryesoi Hirësia e Tij, Mitropoliti i Gjirokastrës Dhimitri, i cili pas shërbesës u uroi gjithë besimtarëve: “Krishtlindje të bekuara” dhe “Krishti i sapolindur të lindë edhe në zemrat tona”.
Në 27 dhjetor, ashtu siç është bërë traditë tashmë në Mitropolinë e Gjirokastrës, u krye takimi i përvitshëm studentor. Ky takim nisi me Liturgjinë Hyjnore dhe pas Liturgjisë u mbajt edhe një fjalim me temë "Dashuria Hyjnore sipas Jerond Porfirit", nga z. Pavlos Kiriakidhis, profesor i Sociologjisë, në Fakultetin e Janinës. Pas këtij fjalimi, të gjithë së bashku drekuan në ambientet e shkollës Kryqi i Nderuar, nën një atmosferë shumë festive.


http://www.orthodoxalbania.org/Shqip/Shtypi%20&%20Publikimet/ShtypiFrame.htm

Dy episkopë të rinj në Kishën Orthodhokse Autoqefale të Shqipërisë


Pas propozimit të Këshillit Kleriko-Laik, siç e përcakton Statuti i ri i Kishës sonë, të enjte, 19 janar 2012, në mbledhjen e tij Sinodi i Shenjtë i Kishës Orthodhokse Autoqefale të Shqipërisë, zgjodhi dy episkopë të rinj titullarë. Me këto dy dorëzime Sinodi i Shenjtë i Kishës Orthodhokse Autoqefale të Shqipërisë përbëhet për herë të parë në historinë tij nga 8 anëtarë.
Në bazë të Statutit të Kishës Orthodhokse Autoqefale të Shqipërisë (nenet 17, 18), Sinodi i Shenjtë vendosi me vota unanime si Episkop të Episkopatës dikur të ndritshme të Amantias, arkimandritin Nathanail dhe si Episkop të Episkopatës dikur të ndritshme të Bylisit, arkimandritin Asti. Ata janë anëtarë titullarë me të drejta të plota të Sinodit të Shenjtë (Neni 18 i statutit: Sipas nevojave të Kishës është e mundur të zgjidhen nga Sinodi i Shenjtë Episkopë titullarë aktivë me detyra të caktuara. Këta quhen kryepriftërinj në shërbim aktiv dhe marrin pjesë në Sinodin e Shenjtë.). Kështu, episkopët e rinj do të mbulojnë sektorë të caktuar të jetës kishtare, Hirësi Nathanaili “Mbikqyrjen e pasurisë së Manastireve” dhe Hirësi Asti “Diakoninë Apostolike” (Shërbimin Apostullor).
Në datën 21 janar, e shtunë, u krye nga Kryepiskopi Anastas, me pjesëmarrjen e gjithë Sinodit të Shenjtë, shërbesa e dorëzimit në episkop e Arkimandrit Nathanailit, në kishën “Ungjillëzimi i Hyjlindëses”, në Tiranë.
Gjithashtu në datën 22 janar, e diel, u krye nga Kryepiskopi Anastas, me pjesëmarrjen e gjithë Sinodit të Shenjtë, shërbesa e dorëzimit në episkop e Arkimandrit Astit, në kishën “Ungjillëzimi i Hyjlindëses”, në Tiranë.
Në të dy këto dorëzime morën pjesë edhe shumë klerikë nga Kryepiskopata e Tiranës, nga Mitropolia e Gjirokastrës dhe nga Mitropolitë e tjera, familjarë, miq, bashkëpunëtorë e besimtarë të shumtë, nxënës e mësues të shkollave kishtare etj., të cilët uruan nga zemra “Aksios - I denjë!”.

Biografi
Për 20 vjet, Episkopi i Amantias, Hirësi Nathanail Agjioriti, ka punuar dhe ndihmuar në Kishën tonë Orthodhokse, në Mitropolinë e Gjirokastrës. Ai u lind në Trikalla, Greqi, në vitin 1957. Shumë herët jetën e tij ia kushtoi Perëndisë, duke u qethur murg në Manastirin e famshëm të Lavrës së Madhe, në Malin e Shenjtë. Mbaroi aty Akademinë Athonite dhe më pas fakultetin teologjik në Universitetin Aristoteli, të Selanikut. Erdhi në Shqipëri për të ndihmuar, sapo u rrëzua sistemi ateist, duke shërbyer me përkushtim e vetëmohim pavarësisht vështirësive. Duke e folur shumë mirë gjuhën shqipe ai ka predikuar fjalën e Perëndisë, duke pagëzuar e kryer Misteret e Shenjta deri në fshatrat më të thella, duke fituar respektin e thellë të besimtarëve dhe të gjithë atyre që e kanë njohur.
Episkopi i Bylisit, Hirësi Asti Bakallbashi, u lind në Durrës, në vitin 1974, në një familje shpresëtare orthodhokse, që e ruajti besimin edhe në kohët më të vështira. Që në çastet e para të ringritjes së Kishës u pagëzua dhe filloi të kontribuonte në rininë orthodhokse. Për 10 vjet studioi me bursë të akorduar nga Kryepiskopata në Akademinë Teologjike “Ngjallja e Krishtit”, në Shën Vlash dhe fakultetin teologjik në Universitetin Aristoteli, të Selanikut, ku po përfundon edhe studime pasuniversitare. Pas kësaj zgjodhi t’i kushtohej plotësisht Kishës dhe u dorëzua klerik i pamartuar nga Kryepiskopi Anastas (si dhjakon 2003, kryedhjakon 2006, prift dhe arkimandrit më 2009). Ai ka ofruar me përkushtim për 19 vjet shërbimin e tij kudo ku i është kërkuar si katekist, si pedagog i Akademisë Teologjike në Shën Vlash dhe bashkëpunëtor në Qendrën Studentore në Tiranë, në administratën dhe në median kishtare etj.

Tiranë, 23 janar, 2012


http://www.orthodoxalbania.org/Shqip/Shtypi%20&%20Publikimet/ShtypiFrame.htm

Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania

 
Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania
Kisha Ortodokse Autoqefale e Shqipërisë
Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania logo.gif
Coat of arms
FounderApostle Paul, Theofan Stilian Noli[1]
Independence17 September 1922[2]
RecognitionAutocephaly recognised in 1937 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
PrimateArchbishop of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania Anastasios Yannoulatos
HeadquartersTirana, Albania
TerritoryAlbania
Possessions
LanguageAlbanian, other languages can be used in liturgy[3]
Adherents700,000[4]
Websitehttp://www.orthodoxalbania.org/
The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania (Albanian: Kisha Ortodokse Autoqefale e Shqipërisë) is one of the newest autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. It declared its autocephaly in 1922, and gained recognition from the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1937.
The church suffered during the Second World War, and in the communist period that followed, especially after 1967 when Albania was declared an atheist state, and no public or private expression of religion was allowed.
The church has, however, seen a revival since religious freedom was restored in 1991, with more than 250 churches rebuilt or restored, and more than 100 clergy being ordained.

 

Administration and Holy Synod

The Holy Synod of Bishops was established in 1998, and is currently consisted of:[5]

 History

Christianity first arrived in Albania with Saint Paul during the 1st century. Saint Paul wrote that he preached in the Roman province of Illyricum,[6] and legend holds that he visited Durrës.[7] However it was with Constantine the Great, who issued the Edict of Milan and legalized Christianity, that the Christian religion became official in the lands of modern Albania.[8]
When Albania came under Ottoman influence in 15th century the Orthodox people of Albania were members of the Archbishopric of Ohrid which was officially recognized by the Ottoman Empire.[9] Following the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century, a slow conversion of Albanians to Islam started. By mid-19th century because of the Tanzimat reforms that had started in 1839 the majority of Albanians had become Muslim. The Tanzimat reform that mostly decreased the number of Christians in Albania was the obligatory draft for non-Muslim soldiers.
Under Ottoman rule, the remaining Eastern Orthodox population of Albania south of the Drin river was integrated into the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and all local Eastern Orthodox religious services, instruction and cultural activities were conducted in Greek. The territory north of the Drin was a part of the Serbian Church and had had Slavic liturgy.

 Autocephaly and statutes

On November 26, 1950 the Parliament of Albania approved the Third Statute that abrogated the 1929 Statute. Such new statute required Albanian citizenship for the primate of the church in its article #4. With the exception of the amendments made in 1993, this statute is still in force for the Church.[15]
On January 21, 1993 the 1950 statute was amended and 1996 it was approved by the President of the Republic Sali Berisha. In particular article #4 of the 1950 statute that required Albanian citizenship for primate of the church was no longer required.

Archbishop of Tirana

The Primate of the Church is also Archbishop of Tirana. The current Archbishop of Tirana is Archbishop Anastasios of Albania.

 Persecution

The church greatly suffered during the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha as all churches were placed under government control, and land originally held by religious institutions were taken by the state. Religion in schools was banned. In 1952 Archbishop Kristofor was discovered dead; most believed he had been killed.
In 1967, inspired by China's Cultural Revolution, Hoxha closed down all churches and mosques in the country, and declared Albania the world's first (and only) atheist country. All expression of religion, public or private, was outlawed. Hundreds of priests and imams were killed or imprisoned.[16]

 Revival of the Church

Seats of the Albanian Orthodox Bishops
At the end of the communist rule, when religious freedom was restored, only 22 orthodox priests remained alive. To deal with this situation, the Ecumenical Patriarch appointed Anastasios to be the Patriarchal Exarch for the Albanian Church. Bishop of Androusa Anastasios before his appointment was dividing his time between his teaching duties at the University of Athens and the Archbishopric of Irinoupolis in Kenya, which was then going through a difficult patch.
He was named Archbishop of Tirana on 24 June 1992 and enthroned on 2 August 1992. Albanian nationalists groups were opposed to the appointment of a Greek primate, calling Anastasios "the Trojan horse of Hellenism in Albania".[17] The Albanian government accepted him only on a provisional basis, until a suitable Albanian ethnic replacement could be found.[18] Over time Anastasios has gained respect for his charity work and now is recognized as a spiritual leader of the Albanian Orthodox Church.
While most parishes use Albanian language, Greek is also used in the ethnically mixed areas, where Greek is also spoken. The Albanian Orthodox liturgy is the only one in the world to use Modern Greek rather than Koine of the New Testament. Clergy
As of February 2008, there are 135 clergy members, all of them Albanian citizens who graduated from the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy, while 9 other students are continuing their education in theological universities abroad.[19]
So far, 150 new churches have been built, 60 monasteries and more than 160 churches have been repaired.[20]

Theological education

Anastasios started a seminary in 1992 initially in a disused hotel, which was in 1996 relocated to its own buildings at Shën Vlash, 15 kilometres from the port of Durrës. The primary purpose of the seminary was training of the new clergy. Women, who will serve the Church as lay leaders, also receive theological training there.
Two Ecclesiastical High Schools for boys were opened - the "Holy Cross" in Gjirokastër in 1998, and the "Holy Cross" in Sukth of Durrës in 2007.

Media and publishing

The Orthodox Church of Albania has its own radio station, named "Ngjallja" (Resurrection) which 24 hours a day broadcasts spiritual, musical, informative and educational programmes and lectures, and has a special children's programme.[21]
A monthly newspaper with the same name "Ngjallja" is published, as well as a children's magazine "Gëzohu" (Rejoice), the magazine of the Orthodox Youth "Kambanat" (Bells), the student bulletin "Fjala" (Word), the news bulletin "News from Orthodoxy in Albania" (published in English) and "Tempulli" (Temple) magazine, that contains cultural, social and spiritual materials.
As of February 2008, more than 90 books with liturgical, spiritual, intellectual, academic topics have been published.[22]

 Social activities

The Orthodox Church in Albania has taken various social initiatives. It started with health care, by organizing medical clinics, diagnostic centres, mobile dental clinic. Then programmes for people with disabilities, development in the mountain regions, orphanages, working with prisoners and homeless people, as well as free kitchens and help.[21]
Apart from the theological schools, it has established elementary schools, day-care centres and an institute for professional training (named "Spirit of Love", established in Tiranë in 2000) which is said to be the first of its kind in Albania and provides education in the fields of Team Management, IT Accounting, Computer Science, Medical Laboratory, Restoration and Conservation of Artwork and Byzantine Iconography.[21]
An environmental programme was started in 2001.[21] Demographics
Although Islam is the dominant religion in Albania, in the southern regions, Orthodox Christianity was traditionally the prevailing religion before the declaration of Albanian independence (1913). However, their number decreased over the following years:[23]
YearOrthodox ChristiansMuslims
1908128,00095,000
1923114,000109,000
1927112,000114,000
Moreover there is a widespread belief that the Orthodox faith is linked with conspiracy theories in which the identification with Greek expansionist plans would classify them as potential enemies of the state.[24] Today, in parts of Albania, the term Greek is used as a pejorative for Orthodox Albanian speaking communities.[25]

 Gallery