Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission


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Until the Communist government declared Albania the first atheist state, there had been American missionaries preaching and teaching the gospel in this eastern European country since the 19th century. These Methodist missionaries played an important role in helping integrate the country’s regional dialects into a common alphabet. They also offered basic schooling and supported the only girls’ school in the country.

Emerging in ruins from Communist rule in the 1990s, Albania embarked on a journey of reconstruction. Christians from Germany soon began helping by bringing in material goods and rebuilding the school infrastructure in some southeastern mountain villages. Educational, medical, and forestry projects were established, and by mid-1998, the United Methodist Church in Bishnica was established. As people, particularly younger people, migrated from rural areas to larger cities, the Albania UMC spread to other parts of the country, including Tirana and Pogradec. Today, local churches, led primarily by laity, are lively, intergenerational and inviting, with ministries that reach out into the community to help reshape and transform the society.

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