As WWII ended the Albanian Communist Party began. It took complete control in 1946. Dictator Enver Hoxha boasted, “that where Hitler failed I succeeded in completely eradicating all religious opposition to my regime.” Albanians were trapped in their own country; no media or personnel were allowed in or out. They were governed by fear and fed propaganda that they were the world’s richest nation, and also that they were under constant military attack from abroad. The reality was they were the poorest nation in Europe and no such attacks were founded. Christians were martyred and imprisoned by the secret police and underground spies who were keen to put an end to all religious practises.
In 1992, elections ended 47 years of communism and Albania became a free-market country; though almost wholly dependent on remittances from Albanians abroad, smuggling and foreign aid. In 1996, a severe crisis developed, when private pyramid investment schemes collapsed. Around 70% of Albanians lost their savings (in total more than US $1 billion), resulting in nationwide disturbances and riots. Towns where the entire workforces were employed by only one factory were left destitute as the economy collapsed.
Today, Albania’s infrastructure still needs improvements as there is a reliance on foreign imports and investment. Despite this, there is much hope for the next generation. Albania is economically stable, remains at peace, and in a democracy that allows people to worship publicly. Many Albanian Christians and Social Action Projects are working in areas of poverty to provide education and discipleship, deliver humanitarian aid and work with their local communities towards a better future for all.
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