Its Allah, Jesus or “Albanianism”….

by artanharacia

He can pray to Allah or Jesus.

Erald Kapri, Albanian student at the WestminsterUniversity in London could have followed his father religion, Islam or his mother’s Orthodoxy.

He decided to follow none as many of his fellow Albanians in the Balkans, most of who don’t even declare their religion anymore. Based on the Albanian media reports 70 % of the population in Albania refuse religion and simply didn’t declare their faith during last year’s Census.

Erald Kapri – Albanian student in London

Albanian’s in the Balkans, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro and everywhere is a mixture of Muslims, Orthodox being the second largest group (20%) and Roman Catholics.  Their most beloved phrase is “The religion of Albanian’s is Albanianhood”, meaning unity between different religious communities.

Mixed marriages like Erald’s parents are the most common thing within Albanians. Especially in Albania a marriage between a Muslim and say a Catholic or Orthodox are not even a topic of discussion anymore, for years now.

Albanian Mosque in the Adriatic port city of Durres

After the fall of Communism in Albania, in the beginning of the ’90 and after the war in Kosovo in 1999, extremely conservative sects of the actual religions have tried to manipulate Albanians. Mainly these groups come from Arab countries and a few from the West.

Fortunately these groups of people failed, at least so far. I will write something more about these tendencies in the days to come, because that might be a danger in the making for the years to come.

12th century Orthodox Church in Labova e Kryqit, Albania – Wikipedia

For every Albanian, the biggest national hero is Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu, someone that defended Christianity in the Balkans like no one else.

Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeu – Wikipedia site

The above posted Wikipedia page about him states that in 1444, he initiated and organized the “League of Lezhë”, which proclaimed him Chief of the League of the Albanian people, and defended the region of Albania against the Ottoman Empire for more than two decades. Skanderbeg’s military skills presented a major obstacle to Ottoman expansion, and he was considered by many in Western Europe to be a model of Christian resistance against the Ottoman Muslims.

In almost every town either in Kosovo or Albania you could find a statue honouring Albanian born nun, Mother Theresa, considered by many the biggest pride of Albanians ever.

Mother Theresa, in this photograph (left) wearing Albanian national costume of Prizren south of Kosovo (1923)

In my home country, Kosovo the situation might be slightly different. For example mixed marriages are not as common as in Albania, but you don’t need to marry someone to say there is love in the air, right? I have been friends with many Albanian’s in Kosovo without even knowing they are Catholics. It’s this much “important” to us. We go to school together; we celebrate Christmas, Aid al Fitter and we try to have fun as much as possible.

Mother Theresa: “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus”

Actually, in Kosovo, after the war you would have entire villages changing their religion by as they say, going back into Catholicism. In 2008, CNN presented the story by saying “some Kosovo Albanians are experimenting with their new found freedom”

There is a lot more that you can write about this, but I would like to end this post by saying; if it weren’t for the bloody politicians, I guess we should be quite proud of ourselves.