Jehovah’s Witnesses of Albania are gathering every year at “Selman Stermasi” stadium in Tirana for annual prayers. This year for the first time, around two hundred believers out of five thousand attendees who came from all parts of Albania, were baptized in an improvised pool at the stadium.
Jehovah’s Witnesses often refuse to participate in the military service in Albania. They claim that their believes do not allow them to serve and are at odds with those of other religious communities in Albania. Occasionally their members were tried in Albanian courts because of such differences.
In 1967 all religious activities were banned in Albania. The communist regime of the dictator Enver Hoxha proclaimed Albania to be an atheist state.
In November of 1990, just on the eve of the collapse of the communist regime, Albania began allowing private worship. During the 1990s, several new religious groups arrived, including evangelical churches, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and new Islamic sects such as the Selefi.
Earlier census showed that seventy percent of the 3.3million Albanian population are Muslims, twenty percent are Christian Orthodox and ten percent are Catholics.