In 1889, anactive mission work began in Albania. Besidespreaching the Gospel and practical everyday help, the focal point and primary work was that of providing basic education for the population. Then, Methodist work was inactive for several decades until 1992, when Christians from Germany began to be involved by bringing help to Albania. In the following years the work was extended: educational, medical, agricultural, and forestry projects were established, andin 1998, the UMC in Albania could be established when the first men and women were admitted as professing members. Since then the situation has changed. Many people have left the mountain villages and have, together with their families, moved to urban areas in order to find a job or better life conditions. The UMC has spread with the peopleinto other parts of the country. Four promising and growing churches have been established in Tirana (2008), Pogradec (2008), Elbasan (2014), and Durrës (2017). The UMC continues to work for the people in Albania and the development of a free and democratic society. At various places, income-generating projects have been initiated (fruit tree cultivation, sewing project for women). Other projects focus on people with disabilities and their integration in society. There is a strong commitment of lay people as the churches try to combine sharing the Gospel and addressing the challenges of today’s society both appropriately and effectively. Leadership development, spiritual growth, and discovering the social aspect of faith are some of the priorities of the current work in Albania.
Population: 2.8 millions
Area: 28,748 km2
Religion: Muslim/Sunni (55%), Others (20%),
Orthodox (10%), Rom.-Cath. (10%)
UMC Churches: 6
Professing members: 195
Active Clergy: 3
An abbreviated Annual Conference for Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania was held on September 10-11, 2021. Due to increasing Covid infection numbers, it could not be held for all together in Strumica (North Macedonia). Therefore, the three countries were connected in an online meeting, and the bishop presided over itfrom Zurich.
Initially, it had looked as if the house, in which Durrës UMC (Albania) is housed, would not have suffered any major damage in the severe earthquakes at the end of November. But then things turned out differently.
Early Tuesday morning, November 26, 2019, Albania was struck by a violent earthquake that claimed many lives, injured many people, collapsed buildings and deeply shocked people.
In a beautiful coastal area, in Spille (Albania), the second United Methodist Regional Youth Camp took place – with about 30 young people present from the three neighboring countries Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia. Four years ago, a similar camp had taken place on the North Macedonian side of Lake Ohrid.