Patriarch Kirill to pay first visit to Albania in late April

Moscow, April 17, 2018

Patriarch Kirill and Archbishop Anastasios last met in Moscow in early December. Photo: Patriarch Kirill and Archbishop Anastasios last met in Moscow in early December. Photo:

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will make an official visit to Albania for the first time in late April, and will hold a joint service with His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës, and All Albania, patriarchal press service Fr. Alexander Volkov told RIA-Novosti today.

The two primates have known one another for more than 50 years and have kept up their friendship throughout the years.

The Russian primate will also meet with Albanian President Ilir Meta.

Pat. Kirill announced the upcoming visit to Albania today at the annual Paschal reception at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The trip is currently scheduled for April 28 to 30.

“This is another visit on the list of visits by the primate of the Russian Church to the fraternal Local Churches since his election to the patriarchal throne,” Fr. Volkov explained.

Most recently, His Holiness visited Romania, concelebrating with His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, Abp. Anastasios, and others for the feast of St. Demetrius the New, the protector of Bucharest. Pat. Kirill and Abp. Anastasios last served together, along with a number of other Orthodox primates, in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral on December 4, celebrating the Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God and the centenary of the enthronement of St. Tikhon as the first primate of the renewed Russian patriarchal throne.

“This year he will visit the martyric Church of Albania, which suffered much in the 20th century and was practically destroyed. The patriarch will celebrate a festive Divine service with the head of the Albanian Church Archbishop Anastasios, with its hierarchs, and we are also awaiting a meeting with the head of state and other high representatives of state power,” the patriarchal press secretary detailed.

Today, Orthodox Christians make up about 22% of Albania’s population. Services are conducted in Albanian, Greek, and Romanian. The country has 4 active monasteries.

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Fabian4/18/2018 2:15 pm
With all due respect, the National Census of 2011 was a big fiasco. (You can confirm this online via many sources). 7% Orthodox Christians is a very small percentage, while the official Orthodox Church statistics conclude to about 27%. It is just impossible that traditionally Orthodox bastions like Korça end up with 90% of Muslims. That's an example of how failed that census was.
Alex Fedec4/18/2018 6:22 am
I always read that the Orthodox make up about 12% of religious believers in Albania. But I think that (that) figure was from about 25 years ago, the Church has grown significantly—truly the work of God! I just hope that Pat. Kyrill can put some pressure on the Albanian government, in light of the recent persecution and headaches that the Orthodox in Albania have gone through.
Llazarion4/17/2018 11:12 pm
Hello from Albania. The language of services is only the albanian. And the percentage is much more than 7%.
Anthony 4/17/2018 8:20 pm
I sincerely hope Anastasios does not infect Pat Kyrill with his ecumenist delusions. We have enough of them crawling about everywhere.
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