Albanian Church has spent nearly $11 million restoring 63 churches since 1991

Tirana, Albania, February 19, 2020

The Monastery of St. John of Vladimir in Elbasan is among those that have been restored. Photo: The Monastery of St. John of Vladimir in Elbasan is among those that have been restored. Photo:     

Despite the financial crisis, the Albanian Orthodox Church spares no expense in restoring its churches that have been in ruins since the persecution of the faith under the communist government last century.

According to a report from the Albanian Church, 63 churches and monasteries were fully restored between 1991 and 2019, in addition to the dozens of new churches that were constructed, not always under easy conditions, and at a price tag of $10.8 million (10 million euros), according to a report by Fr. Elias Makos published on Romfea.

Many of the restored churches had previously been desecrated and used as movie theaters, cultural halls, gymnasiums, and warehouses.

Despite the lack of money in the beginning, people and organizations from around the world began to donate to the cause, seeing the zealous work undertaken by Archbishop Anastasios, Fr. Elias reports.

The materials and methods of reconstruction were specifically chosen to preserve the iconography and identify with the churches original architecture.

In 2001, the Orthodox Church Cultural Heritage Organization was created, dedicated exclusively to the renovation of churches, iconography, and liturgical objects. At the same time, a digital archive was also created, including pre- and post-work reports and photographs.

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