What is Albania interesting by? Religion ofStudying information on Albania before a trip, we only also read that Albanians Muslims, and nearly aggressive. With confidence that it quite so, we also appeared in this Balkan country.
the First time we thought of whether really all Albanians practise Islam, during a lunch in the city Lying. The matter is that opposite to restaurant on other coast of Drin new, almost very clean, grandiose construction - the cathedral of Saint Nikolay consecrated only on October 28, 2007 towered. Subsequently it turned out that Lying is among the Albanian cities in which a large number of Christians lives - about a quarter of the population in it profess Catholicism, besides there is a lot of also Orthodox Christians.
For the interested and such information can be problems of belief curious: the diocese Lie it was formed in the 14th century and originally entered a metropolitanate of Venice. At once after a gain of Albania Turks this diocese fell into decay as three of five Catholic churches in the city Lying were converted in the mosque. After release from Ottoman dominion since the beginning of the last century the place of Catholic pilgrimage was the Monastery of Saint Anthony of Paduansky which is in Leger and there comes further revival of this diocese.
But the real blow for me there was a night in the city of Shkoder, in hotel directly opposite to the main mosque of the city. On the street absolutely it was still dark when we were woken by a loud voice of the muezzin, it is devout invited to make a morning Mohammedan prayer. The impression was made that the loudspeaker is directly in our number and practically and it appeared, our open window was only slightly - slightly lower than that balcony on a mosque minaret on which directly opposite to hotel it was fixed by radio - a hand bell. The cracked window literally involved in itself all sounds reaching at that moment from the street. I jumped, it was necessary to slam urgently a window shutter that the child did not manage to clear up, but, having closed it, I involuntarily darted a glance for hours: correctly, there is no morning also five, the light strip in the east clearly demonstrated that soon the star will appear on the horizon, and I was late at a window, considering a picture which opened below. And there the was road conducting to the temple.
But something was not absolutely natural in it enough - a habitual look which I much - many times observed in other Muslim states. Half asleep I could not understand in any way that I not so, and slapped then myself on a forehead, it was obvious, but it is absolutely unusual - on the street there were no people, nobody went towards the mosque. I staid at a window long enough, the tape recorder on which the muezzin`s appeal was written down, here here became silent and the sun ascended, so the Mohammedan prayer was complete, but on the street so nobody appeared. It forced me to return to a question of a role of belief in lives of the Albanian people again. Official percent demonstrate only that in the country there are Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox Christians, but how many them actually, these percent cannot tell in any way.
“Albania is the only Muslim country in Europe“, - I read in some article and was surprised, probably, the author simply - naprosto forgot about Turkey which officially is the European state and even applies for the accession to the EU; or about the neighbor of Albania in the Balkan Peninsula - Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which on paper approximately the same ratio of adherents to this or that religious faith, as well as in Albania, but which transferred quite recently the most severe war in the last decades where the religious component played not the last role owing to what scales obviously favored winners which became Muslims.
Of course, the world changes and at the same time changes quite promptly, in some Muslim states so-called Modern Muslim, that is modern Muslims appeared, and in these countries into mosques goes to hit Mohammedan prayers generally only the senior generation, and that quite not numerous. But what we faced in Shkodere moreover in holidays - the third day of Eid al-Adha began, a sacrifice holiday - it was unexpected.
Perhaps, it occurred as Albanians were never jealous Muslims and fighters for belief. After occupation of the country by Turks they were just violently omusulmanit, but at the same time in the country all the same there were many Christians, especially in remote mountainous areas. Yes, probably, it is not so easy to change belief of the whole country, even in four hundred years of enslavement. After achievement of independence by Albania by Catholic church some efforts on return of Albanians to a Christianity bosom were made, but communists came to the power in the country, and Albania officially, at the state level, proclaimed itself the only atheistic country in the world. In this plan the statement attributed to Enveru Hodge is characteristic: “The only religion of Albanians is Albania“.
In modern Albania commitment of the former atheists to this or that belief quite often depends rather on material or political benefits. So, thanks to Mother Teresa who is on a nationality the Albanian in the country many Catholics appeared. It`s not just that it is extremely popular in the country, and it is rather that thanks to it in the center of Tirana the university with preferential training was open for Albanians - Catholics. Then in the country many newly converted Muslims appeared - it appears, the Arab banks began to give the interest-free credits to devout. And at last the orthodox president came to the power in Albania in 2005 and it is obvious that after that in the country many orthodox Christians appeared.
I will finish this subject with statistical data, demonstrating that in modern Albania approximately equal number of churches and mosques opens though in our opinion, Christian temples in the country much more, than mosques.