The small country on the Balkan peninsula has some 2.8 million inhabitants and is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Christians are in a minority here. Like the faithful in Albania, the local Church also have existential worries. A continuing major concern is the shortage o young priests and bishops, as well as a growing fundamentalist Islam.
In 2016, relief organisations for Eastern Europe met with the bishops of Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Kosovo. The aim was to find solutions for the financial crisis in the local churches. A broad consensus was reached on the importance of ensuring the viability of the ordinariates and parishes and providing priests with basic health care in the event of illness and in old age.
» The churches in Albania lack material necessities. «
Where jobs are scarce, both the population and the Church suffer from existential difficulties. Therefore, our funds for Albania have mainly been channelled into securing the livelihood of priests. Another problem until recently was the lack of bishop appointments. In the meantime, the Pope has newly occupied three of the six Albanian bishoprics. This represents a clear sign in view of the zeal of fundamentalist Islamic forces being supported by the Arab world.