This country report looks into state-religion relations, the governance of religious diversity and developments related to violent religious radicalisation in Albania. It examines the relationship between state and religion in historical perspective and analyses the present-day legal and institutional structures regulating this interaction. The author puts forward an engaging account of the demographic, economic and cultural factors that are relevant to religion. The report also explores processes of religiously inspired radicalisation, the drivers behind them, and domestic and international responses by the authorities.
Overall, the affairs of the state in Albania are independent from those of religion and vice versa. Nevertheless, the state exercises some control over religion by encouraging collaboration in the fulfilment of common goals. Historically, there has been a peaceful coexistence of religious groups in the country – a legacy of a shared culture. In recent years, there has been evidence of radicalisation trends and instances of violent extremist acts performed by Albanians abroad. However, policy-makers, supported by non-governmental organisations, have undertaken comprehensive measures to address these challenges.