Albania is a Southeastern European country bordering Greece. The country is about the size of New Jersey. Due to low job opportunities and antagonism toward its political/economic system, Albania is among the poorest nations in Europe.
After World War II, much of Eastern Europe (including Albania) was taken over by authoritative communism. In 1967, dictator Enver Hoxha outlawed religious expression, declared Albania the “world’s first atheist state,” claimed the only valid religion as “Albanianism,” and destroyed many Islamic libraries and Orthodox churches. Today, Albanians are very much open to talking about faith issues, in part due to backlash against the restrictive days of communism, and because those who identify as Muslim do so nominally.
While in Albania, we will be partnering with CRU Albania to minister to high school students in Tirana, the capital city. The High School ministry is the backbone of the Albania church movement and a vital way in which CRU is impacting the lives of future leaders. We will be meeting with high school students to have coffee dates to get to know them, let them practice their English (a big enticement for many!) and participate in the CRU High School ministry activities planned. We’ll even have a chance to get away from the city, to go camping with the students at CRU’s Lighthouse retreat property for a day or two.