Patriarch Kirill meets with the Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich in photovacation of Moscow and all Russia Kirill. Archival photoPatriarch Kirill meets with the Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich the image Bank

Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church Archbishop Anastasios told Patriarch Kirill that the Church in Albania over the past 25 years has managed to recover from the complete destruction of religion and today makes a significant contribution to the reconstruction and social development of the country.

Archbishop Anastasius met the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill in the Cathedral of the resurrection of Christ in Tirana. The first ever visit of the Patriarch of Moscow to Albania will be held from 28 to 30 April. Patriarch Kirill will conduct the Liturgy in the Cathedral of the resurrection of Christ in Tirana, will visit the theological Academy and the monastery of St. Blaise in Durres, will meet with the leadership of the country.

Archbishop Anastasios reminded the Patriarch, in 1968, in Albania there was a «unique situation». «Officially, in the Constitution of the country was proclaimed a totally atheist state, where the most violent and cruelly religious faith was buried for 23 years», — said the head of the Albanian Church. According to him, the actions of Communist governments have been characterized by radicalism. For example, publicly committing the sign of the cross man could be sentenced to 10 years in prison, for possession of the house icons to 25 years.

Now Christianity, like other religions in Albania is experiencing a period of Renaissance. «Along with the purely ecclesiastical reorganization of the Albanian Church has developed and advanced projects in health, education, culture, ecology, and, by its presence, makes a significant contribution to the restructuring and the spiritual and social development of the country,» said Archbishop Anastasios.

As part of the Church there are six monasteries, theological Academy in durrës, University «Logos», which produces economists and medical laboratory technicians, nine secondary schools, an orphanage and a medical diagnostic centre in Tirana, four clinics, outreach perinatal center «Service of love» and other institutions.

Patriarch Kirill noted that the Russian Church has survived in the XX century a similar test. «I hope my visit will open a new page in relations between the two brotherly local Orthodox churches,» he said.

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