Albanian Orthodox Christians shall gather in their churches in the United States next Sunday to pray for a peaceful resolution to the current conflict in Albania. His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, Archbishop of Washington, DC, and Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, has issued a special intercessory prayer for reconciliation, justice and harmony to be included on March 9, 1997 during Divine services. Appropriately, next Sunday is the Lenten Day of Forgiveness in the Orthodox Church calendar.
The crisis in Albania was brought on by the collapse of pyramid schemes, causing thousands of Albanian families to lose their meager life-savings in the already impoverished Balkan nation. Just as the country was emerging from a Stalinist dictatorship into the democratic processes of free market reform, the present crisis has brought on internal conflict with its attendant violence and insecurity.
A statement was issued by the Very Reverend Arthur Liolin, Chancellor of the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America, with headquarters in Boston, which said the following: “The real tragedy of the Albanian situation cannot be localized to that Balkan nation alone, but is a stern warning of what can befall vulnerable peoples in many places around the globe. Similar crises shall continue to happen when we turn our backs on the legitimate needs of suffering others. Indeed, what is occurring in Albania at present is a mirror of the human condition and a microcosm of the frailty of human society today. We pray that almighty God shall give Albanian people and their leaders the strength to endure these painful moments and the wisdom to know that violence of any sort will not bring about a fruitful result for themselves today and for their children in the future.”
The Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese is a member diocese of the Orthodox Church in America.