Statement Concerning the Present Difficulties In Albania

OCA Chancery
Syosset, New York

In only a few weeks, Orthodox Christians throughout the world will be celebrating the great Feast of Feasts, Holy Pascha, the Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yet, as we journey through Great Lent to Pascha, we witness with dismay the great suffering that has come to Albania in the wake of the recent near total collapse of law and order. The difficulties followed hard upon the disintegration of the so-called “pyramid schemes” in which many Albanians had invested their life savings.

We are particularly disheartened by the realization that only a few years ago we were giving thanks for the demise of the long- established totalitarian atheistic regime in Albania. We offered our thanks especially because this demise had seemed to promise new freedom, particularly the religious freedom that for generations had been denied to the people of Albania. Sadly, it is now apparent that this new freedom was used by an irresponsible few to prey upon the unrealistic hopes of the people, setting up an insecure system of economic development which, in its decay, has fomented the troubles through which Albania is now suffering.

In watching this tragedy unfold, we are horrified to learn how quickly law and order can disintegrate. While suffering together with all negatively affected by the developing crisis, we also fully support those who insistently demand an end to the present disorder, especially His Beatitude, ANASTASIOS, Archbishop of Tirana and all Albania, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Albania. We pray for the restoration of law and order. We also pray that, with the restoration of that law and order, the

Albanian nation will be able to overcome the tragic effects of this sad episode in their history. We pray that, with God’s help and guidance, a stable society will be nurtured there—a society centered in and built upon appropriate morals, ethics, values, beliefs, and the highest aspirations of mankind.

May the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all who in good will pray and work toward a just and lasting solution to the present difficulties in Albania.