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Mosque in Shkodër.

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During the Ottoman rule, according to Ottoman data, the majority of Albanians were of Muslim affiliation (Sunni and Bektashi). However, decades of state atheism which ended in 1991 brought a radical decline in religious practice in all traditions. Today much of the population is irreligious.[1][2][3]

Et'hem Bey Mosque in Tirana, the oldest mosque in Albania.

Golden Duas for Mankind in the worldBold text Our LORD Appreciated Christians As Per Quranic Verses 3:55,5:82,57:27,28 Except Quranic Verses 5:57,9:31Thank you very much for approving to join yahoo groups towards peace, security, health and wealth of mankind in the world as per our website The following message is not published to all the members of the group so far.As per quranic versus 4:59 and 83 it is a duty tospread the following messages in the interest of public peace, health and wealth. "please download from web site WWW.GOLDENDUAS.COM for peace, security, health& wealth for mankind and the same may be published to all members of the group based on quranic verses 2:2,10:57,17:11,16,28:59,39:55,57,13:37&65:8. Otherwise it will amount to refuse to follow our Lord Order, guidance and direction as per Quranic verses 6:26" Please kindly arrange to post the above said message in the group website to know all concerned in the interest of peace, security, health and wealth of all mankind. Otherwise it will amount to refuse to follow our Lord Order, guidance and direction as per Quranic verses 6:26"

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Although religious freedom has returned to Albania since the regime's change in 1992, the majority of Albanians , 60 to 75% today do not practice any religion whatsoever, but affiliate themselves with one of the four traditional religions[4][5][6]. Citizens of Muslim background make up the largest traditional religious group (50-70% of the population), followed by Albanian Orthodox (30-20%) and Catholic (20-10%).[7][8][9][10][11]

A recent Pew Research Center demographic study put the percentage of Muslims in Albania at 79.9%.[12]




Ottoman period

Islam came to Albania through the Ottoman rule in the 14th century and had to confront with Christianity. In the North, the spread of Islam was slower due to Roman Catholic Church's resistance and the mountainous terrain which contributed to curb Muslim influence. In the center and south, however, by the end of the seventeenth century the urban centers had largely adopted the religion of the growing Albanian Muslim elite. The existence of an Albanian Muslim class of pashas and beys who played an increasingly important role in Ottoman political and economic life became an attractive option career for most Albanians.

The Muslims of Albania during were divided into two main communities: those associated with Sunni Islam and those associated with the Bektashi, a mystic Dervish order that came to Albania through the Albanian Janissaries that served in the Ottoman army. The Bektashi sect is considered heretical by Mainstream Islam. Sunni Muslims have historically lived in the cities of Albania, while Bektashis mainly lived in the country.


Mosque in Fier.

The country won its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. Following the National Renaissance tenets and the general lack of religious convictions [13], during the 20th century, the democratic, monarchic and later the totalitarian regimes followed a systematic dereligionization of the nation and the national culture. Due to this policy, as all other faiths in the country, Islam underwent radical changes.

In 1923, following the government program, the Albanian Muslim congress convened at Tirana decided to break with the Caliphate, established a new form of prayer (standing, instead of the traditional salah ritual), banished polygamy and the mandatory use of veil (hijab) by women in public, practices forced on the urban population by the Ottomans.[14]

The Muslim clergy, following suit with the Catholic and Orthodox clergy, was totally eradicated during the communist regime of Enver Hoxha who declared Albania the only non-religious country of the world banning all forms of religious practice in the public in 1967.

Today Albania is the only entirely European member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.[15]

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.

  1. ^ L'Albanie en 2005 -
  2. ^ Zuckerman, Phil. "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns", chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (2005)
  3. ^ Goring, Rosemary (ed). Larousse Dictionary of Beliefs & Religions (Larousse: 1994); pg. 581-584. Table: "Population Distribution of Major Beliefs"
  4. ^ Zuckerman, Phil. "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns", chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (2005)
  5. ^ H.T.Norris, Popular Sufism in Eastern Europe – Sufi Brotherhoods and the Dialogue with Christianity and Heterodoxy, Routlege, 2006
  6. ^ Margaret Hasluk, The Non-Conformist Moslems of Albania, The Moslem World, Vol XV, 1925, pp392-3
  7. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2007 - Albania, U.S. Department of State
  8. ^ Country Profile: Albania,
  9. ^
  10. ^ Religious freedon mation profile: Albania, religiousfreedom.lib
  11. ^ Serbian-Albanian Honeymoon, 29 July 2008,
  12. ^ Miller, Tracy, ed. (October 2009) (PDF), Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population, Pew Research Center,, retrieved 2009-10-08 
  13. ^ John Hutchinson, Anthony D. Smith, "Nationalism: Critical Concepts in Political Science"
  14. ^ Albania dispatch, Time magazine, April 14, 1923
  15. ^ Official website of the OIC

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