world council of churches

World Council of Churches
Conference of European Churches
Lutheran World Federation
Ecumenical Delegation to the FYR Macedonia and Albania
18-25 May 1999

In April 1999, the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches and the Lutheran World Federation sent a delegation to Yugoslavia to meet with the churches to discuss the causes and the consequences of the present conflict in the Balkans. As part of their continuing response to the war, WCC and CEC in cooperation with LWF, organized a second delegation to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania from 18-25 May. This delegation was asked:
Participants in this delegation hope that this report will inform the churches about some of the regional consequences of the present conflict and will thus contribute to a deeper understanding of the war and its long-term impact throughout Southeastern Europe.

Members of the Delegation
Wilhelm Nausner, United Methodist Church, Geneva area
Antonios Papantoniou, Church of Greece
Sylvia Raulo, Evangelical Church of Finland
Elizabeth Ferris, World Council of Churches
Alessandro Spanu, Federation of Italian Protestant Churches (Albania only)

The delegation wishes to express its deep appreciation to the staff of the Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and All Albania and the staff of Diaconia Agapes in Albania for receiving us with warmth and kindness, even while continuing to manage emergency programmes. In particular, members of the delegation are grateful to Pastor Mihail Cekov and to Dragi Vrgov for taking a week out of their schedules to accompany us throughout our trip.


This was a short visit and while our impressions are strong, it is impossible to have definitive conclusions after only a few days in each country. After considerable discussion, we decided not to formulate specific recommendations for the churches, but rather to record our observations and to share some general conclusions about the situation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania.

1. The present conflict in the Balkans is not a religious war. While ethnic identities are deeply held, people of different ethnic and religious groups have lived together with respect and tolerance for centuries. Efforts to portray the war as a religious conflict are very dangerous. In this highly politicized context, neither the churches nor other religious communities should allow themselves to be used by governments or political groups for political purposes.

2. The present crisis in the Balkans is a long-term one. The effects of this war will last for many years - while the attention of the international community will most likely be short-lived. The refugees from Kosovo have many needs which demand both immediate and long-term attention. At the same time, we are deeply concerned about the impact of the conflict and the presence of refugees on the countries which host them. If a new global crisis develops or if humanitarian agencies are able to work inside Kosovo, it may be that attention will shift from the on-going needs of refugees in Albania and Macedonia to other areas. Given the volatile situation in both of these countries, this could have devastating consequences for those countries and for the region as a whole.

3. The war is creating a very dangerous situation for the neighboring countries and deserves more sustained attention from the international community. It is impossible for the countries of Macedonia and Albania to continue to host large numbers of refugees without the sustained support of the international community. We must also remember that in both countries the transition from communist rule to democratic institutions is a very difficult one.

4. People throughout the region are afraid of the de-stabilizing effects of the arrival of large numbers of people of different ethnicities and express concern that the conflict will "spill over" into their countries. Thus, the problems of the region are inter-related and a comprehensive plan needs to be developed in response to the region as a whole. A peace agreement, for example, would need to take into account not only the return of refugees to Kosovo from Macedonia and Albania, but also the impact of the war on Greece, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and other countries in the region.

5. Yugoslavia is the center of the Balkans. What happens in Yugoslavia has repercussions throughout the region in terms of trade and economic transactions, infrastructure, transportation, and political developments. Until there is democracy in Yugoslavia, the whole region will be at risk.

6. The challenge for the churches in the region is to build and sustain pluralistic societies where people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds can live together in peace and mutual respect. Although recent years have witnessed conflicts on a large scale, we must also remember that there have been periods of peace in which multi-cultural societies have functioned well. In this context, proposals to re-define national borders are very dangerous.

7. In talking with many different people about the refugee situation, we discovered that knowledgeable people have very different prognoses for the future. A few believe that a peace agreement will soon be signed and that most of the refugees will immediately return home. Many more believe that the process of return will be a very slow one; "even if a peace agreement is signed next week," we were told, "the refugees will be here for at least a year." Others believe that most of the refugees will never return to Kosovo. These differing analyses shape perceptions about the appropriate response to the refugee situation --from decisions about whether to invest in expensive winterization projects or to encourage humanitarian evacuation.

Impact of the war on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Until the early 1990s, Macedonia was a part of Yugoslavia. Its markets, infrastructure, and trading patterns were all integrated into the country. The present disruption of relations with Yugoslavia as a result of the war is having a major impact on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is also a new democracy; its political institutions have been developed recently and its political parties are in a process of consolidation. The tension produced by the arrival of 300,000 ethnic Albanian refugees by mid-May 1999 has thus also had a major impact on the fragile democratic structures. Before the arrival of the refugees, 75% of the country's two million people were ethnic Macedonian and 25% ethnic Albanian. There are also 45,000 registered Roma (though the actual figure may be as high as 90,000). The presence of the refugees -- 12% of Macedonia's population at the time of our visit --has led to fear by the Macedonians that the country's ethnic balance will be changed.

Economically, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is suffering from serious disruption of trade. Traditionally, much of the country's agricultural production was exported to Yugoslavia; without that market, farmers have nowhere to ship their produce. We were told, for example, that in Strumica, 20 kilos of cucumbers are now selling for US$1. Factories which depended on Yugoslavia for raw materials and/or as markets are closing. Similarly, trade between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Germany, a traditional trading partner, has also been disrupted. Before the arrival of the refugees, unemployment in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was 40% and unofficial figures now indicate that the number of unemployed exceeds the number of employed. Foreign investors are backing off, commercial air traffic has declined by 80%, and overall the economic situation is precarious.

Politically, we heard reports that the country is becoming polarized between pro and anti-NATO forces, with anti-NATO sentiment deepening with the effects of the bombing. Macedonians are afraid of being drawn into the conflict. Two-thirds of the Macedonian population lives within 20-25 kilometers of the Yugoslav border and there are presently 16,000 NATO troops in the country. Ethnic Macedonians also express fear of an independent Kosovo and of the possibility of a greater Albania. As one person said, "it is not possible to change borders in the Balkans without a lot of bloodshed." In this context, the Kosovar Albanian refugees are seen as a de-stabilizing force and Macedonians seem to be united in urging that they be resettled outside of their country. In fact, the departure in recent weeks of 50,000 refugees to other countries seems to have somewhat eased the situation.


At the time of our visit, an estimated 229,000 Albanian refugees are in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia of whom 79,000 live in nine camps and 125,000 live with host families. About 50,000 have departed for other countries in the past month. The Albanians are not recognized as refugees, but rather as "humanitarian assisted persons." In addition to the Albanian refugees, there are several thousand others, including Macedonian citizens (both ethnic Albanians and Macedonians) who were living in Kosovo and Serbian and Roma refugees from other parts of Yugoslavia. Presently the police are refusing to recognize non-Albanians as "humanitarian assisted persons" although we heard some reports that they are being quietly assisted by non-governmental organizations. There are also several thousand refugees who are not registered.

For refugees living in camps, there is major concern about the upcoming hot summer and the more pressing needs of next winter. Temperatures in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia can reach 45 degrees in the summer and drop to -20 degrees in the winter. Winterization of the refugees' shelter will be very expensive; moreover, the process of winterizing the camps is a sign that the refugees will be present in the country for some time and thus could also increase xenophobia among the local population. For refugees living with host families, there is concern that the welcome will wear thin as the months drag on, particularly as many of the host families are very poor. There is growing interest among the refugees in humanitarian evacuation to Western countries.

We also heard of growing resentment among the Macedonian population about the superior facilities in the refugee camps, particularly given the deteriorating economic situation. As one Macedonian said, "we hear that the refugees are receiving bananas; we haven't been able to afford to buy bananas ourselves for a long time." We are also concerned about the impact of the arrival of many international NGOs. Prices in Skopje are increasing while many Macedonian citizens are without jobs.

We heard reports of tens of thousands of internally displaced people in Kosovo who may move to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as the snow melts in the mountains. With the destruction of infrastructure in Kosovo, it is likely that more refugees in the future will come because of hunger.

We visited two refugee camps. Radusa is a relatively small camp, managed by MCIC. Although it has a capacity of 1500, presently only 700 refugees live in the camp. Overall, the services provided are excellent. Medical care (with 13+ doctors and adequate equipment) and two hot meals a day are provided by a Bulgarian organization. Clean water is available in sufficient quantity as are hot showers, sanitation, and a free satellite telephone for refugees' use. Plans are underway for construction of community facilities, to be managed by the refugees and to provide a place for refugee gatherings.

Cegrane refugee camp is presently the largest in the country with 40,000 refugees. The camp was hastily "expanded" when unexpected arrivals forced it to grow too quickly. It was opened 3 weeks ago and is still not finished. Some of the roads, for example, are still without gravel (which means they turn to mud when it rains) and the number of latrines is inadequate for the population. MCIC is presently constructing an additional 50 latrines. There is no provision of hot meals (as was the case in Radusa) and families cook their meals over open fires in the small spaces between the tents. This camp is intended to be a permanent one with limited movement of refugees to other countries. We were concerned about the environmental impact of the camp as the refugees must look for firewood and as sewage is presently being dumped into a nearby river. We also heard reports from refugees that the health care was inadequate.

In both camps refugees seem to enjoy relative freedom of movement and were clearly visible in the nearby communities. Relationships between NGOs in the Cegrane camp seemed to be relatively ad hoc, although daily coordination meetings are held. While the basic needs of the refugees seemed to be being met, we were concerned about the social dimension of life in the camps. Refugees are depressed and have few activities to occupy their time. Mostly, they sit in their tents and wait for decisions to be made about their future. The lack of meaningful activity will surely increase both the depression of the refugees and other social problems. While some of the younger children in Radusa camp are attending school in nearby villages, there are no activities (as yet) for adolescents and young people, nor is schooling available to children in the larger Cegrane camp.

The Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation (MCIC)
MCIC was created in 1993 to work on development projects and over the years has achieved an impressive record in the area of village development, sanitation, and capacity-building among local NGOs. In April of this year, MCIC began emergency programmes, suspending its regular programmes in order to respond to the crisis. With the support of Action by Churches Together (ACT), MCIC is presently involved with: 1) provision of emergency assistance (with responsibilities for sanitation in several camps, overall management of the Radusa camp, and distribution of food/hygiene parcels to host families), 2) awareness-raising, including education for refugees, education of opinion-makers and a public campaign to increase tolerance at the grassroots level, and 3) urgent information centre through printed materials and a website which provides timely information on developments in Macedonia. MCIC is planning to reintroduce its regular programmes, at least on a partial basis, in June.

MCIC's governing structures are based on representation from the religious communities (Macedonian Orthodox Church, United Methodist Church and the Islamic Religious Community), representatives of civil society (such as Roma and women's organizations), and individuals with expertise in particular areas. We did hear some concerns, particularly from the Macedonian Orthodox Church, that MCIC should do more to strengthen the work of the churches.

Overall, we were impressed with MCIC's work and the diversity of its Executive Board. In particular, MCIC's decision to purchase food locally for the parcels it is distributing to host families is a way of responding to Macedonian needs as well as those of the refugees. We were similarly impressed with MCIC's commitment to assisting needy Macedonians as well as the refugees. For example, in both camps we visited, MCIC is planning to upgrade the infrastructure (power, water, sanitation) of local communities as well as refugee camps. Given the understandable resentment of the local population toward the refugees and the resources they are receiving, these are important initiatives which should be encouraged and supported.

We are concerned about the implications for MCIC of its emergency programmes. MCIC has done a wonderful job in responding to the immediate crisis in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. But the cost has been the suspension of its regular development programmes B which are important and which will be needed in the longer term. If the immediate crisis continues, it will be important to ensure both that the refugees' needs are met by professionals trained in emergency response and that MCIC's development work is resumed.

We also met with the Mesechina (or "Moon") humanitarian organization of the Roma which has also suspended its regular educational programmes for Roma and capacity-building with Roma NGOs to work full-time on the emergency situation. Presently Mesechina is distributing 2600 food and hygiene packages per month to families hosting refugees and 1000 per month to Macedonian social cases in Gostivar. We were told that there are perhaps 3000 Roma refugees from Kosovo presently living with host families in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


We were struck by the lack of an ecumenical "spirit" or history among the Macedonian churches and by the isolation of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. While there is some evidence of good cooperation between churches, this seems to occur as the result of contacts between individuals rather than an ecumenical commitment by the institutions. For example, our meeting with Caritas-Macedonia revealed that there is good ecumenical cooperation on the field level. Within the Catholic church, there are also divisions between the Uniates and the Roman Catholic church.

Presently 1.5 million of Macedonia's 2 million people are members of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (as well as 1 million who live outside of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.) In 1967, the Macedonian Orthodox Church declared its independence from the Serbian Orthodox Church B a separation which is not recognized by other Orthodox churches. The Macedonian Orthodox Church applied for membership in the World Council of Churches in 1967, but its application was not accepted. The delegation met with Metropolitan Kiril of the Macedonian Orthodox Church as an expression of solidarity with the major church in a country experiencing serious difficulties as a result of the war in neighboring Kosovo, but made it clear to the Metropolitan that the delegation's purpose was to learn about the humanitarian and political issues in the country and not to address issues concerning the church's position within the Orthodox community nor its desire for membership in WCC and CEC. The delegation emphasized that decisions on those issues rest with others in the ecumenical family.

Metropolitan Kiril received the delegation with warmth and appreciation, apologizing for the absence of Archbishop Mihail who was in the hospital recovering from heart surgery. He began his statement to the delegation by noting that this was the first time in more than 30 years that a WCC or CEC delegation had come to visit his church and the visit was deeply appreciated.. He noted that the church still vividly remembers the assistance offered by WCC and CEC following the devastating 1963 earthquake. The solidarity expressed by the international ecumenical community at that time was "overwhelming" and has never been forgotten. He expressed the earnest desire of his church to join the WCC and CEC , the pain at the division of the churches at the end of this millennium and his hope that the Macedonian Orthodox Church can rejoin the global ecumenical community in the near future.

Metropolitan Kiril talked of several pressing concerns for the Macedonian Orthodox Church. The church is still suffering the effects of 50 years of communist rule during which time church property was confiscated and the base of the church was weakened. Presently there are 2500 churches and monasteries to be maintained and its resources are limited. While Macedonian youth are interested in becoming more involved in the church, the church has insufficient funds for production of materials in the Macedonian language (the Bible was published in Macedonian only in 1991) and the theological institution is under-funded. He also expressed concerns about the growth of Islam in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the financial resources available to Moslems from abroad; he is particularly worried in light of the present influx of refugees. He noted that Yugoslavian refugees of Serbian origin arrive at their church doors and the church has no means to assist them, although those of Albanian origin receive ample resources from international humanitarian organizations. The churches are doing what they can (including running soup kitchens) for needy people, but have few resources.

During our visit to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, we had long conversations with Pastor Cekov of the United Methodist Church in Strumica and were able to visit 4 Methodist church buildings in the Struma valley. In Strumica we learned of the growing ecumenical cooperation with the Catholic sisters of the Eucharist and also visited the sisters and saw their medical clinic. The Methodist church is quite small in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (12 congregations, 4,500 members) but seems to play a disproportionate role in terms of ecumenical leadership, particularly within MCIC.

We also met with Zejnula Fazliu, secretary of the Islamic Religious Community, who noted that there are 500 mosques (and additional buildings) in Macedonia and that his organization brings together all the Islamic communities in the country.. The Islamic community suffered greatly under communist rule with the confiscation of properties. El Hillal was organized as the humanitarian arm of the Islamic Religious Community and was relatively well-prepared to meet the emergency when it occurred. He noted that MCIC was the only organization which supported El Hillal in the beginning and that presently they are active participants on the MCIC board. He commented that "relations between the religious communities are better than between our politicians."


Albania presently has 2 million people. A decade ago, its population was 3 million; as a result of a series of crises in the country, around 1 million Albanians have left the country in search of survival and a better life. Presently 70% of Albanians are unemployed; many, perhaps most Albanian families are able to survive only through the remittances sent home from their relatives working abroad. Most of the country's food is imported and there are few exports. Some 80% of Albanians lost their life savings in the 1997 collapse of the pyramid schemes and the population is still reeling from the shock of this crisis. We heard reports that people have lost hope and confidence in their political and economic institutions to adequately provide for the population and that migration is seen as their only option for the future.

Today approximately 67% of Albania's population is from the Moslem tradition, 23% are Orthodox and 10-11% are Catholic. Thus, the Orthodox Church of Albania is the majority church within a minority Christian population. Within the Orthodox Church of Albania are several different ethnic groups, including Albanians, Greeks and Vladhs. The church is thus a multi-ethnic church in a multi-ethnic country; it is also a church in the process of reconstruction and resurrection. There are also smaller Protestant churches and organizations which are presently working with the refugees; relations between the Orthodox Church of Albania and the Roman Catholic church seem to be very good..

Albania is also unique in the whole world in the nature and extent of religious persecution it experienced from 1967 to 1990. For twenty-three years, all religious expression B public and private B was forbidden. Churches and monasteries were destroyed, priests were persecuted and forbidden to exercise their ministries, and atheism was officially and vigorously promoted in schools and civic life. With the change of government in 1990 and the opening of the country, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania was given a chance to re-build. But the Church was forced to start almost from scratch. When His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios assumed his position in 1991, he found only 15 elderly priests in the country (compared with 350 before the persecution began) and a country almost devoid of Orthodox churches. Since then the Church has established a theological seminary, ordained 104 priests and re-established the synod. 250 churches have been re-built, repaired or restored and at this time the church is present in 400 communities. Given the tendency in Albania for people to leave the country, the church is encouraging its seminary students to remain in the country.

At the same time that the church was restoring the leadership and repairing the buildings, it began a diaconal ministry through Diaconia Agapes, providing food, clothing and medicines to needy people. Over the years its outreach has expanded to the whole of Albania with the Children's Nursery School Program, Agricultural and Water programmes, health programmes, and other ministries. During the course of our visit, we were able to observe a church-run nursery school in Tirana, visit the church's "Resurrection" radio station, and tour the soon-to-be opened Diagnostic Centre of the Annunciation. This Diagnostic Centre includes state-of-the art equipment in an impressive modern building and will contribute greatly to the standards of health care in Albania. We came away from these visits deeply impressed with the diaconal efforts of the Orthodox Church of Albania and with the resurrection of a church which had been all but destroyed under communist rule. We stand in awe at the vision and commitment of Archbishop Anastasios in re-building the church in all its dimensions.

The refugees

It is in this context that Albania has received 450,000 refugees in the past 45 days. The country's population has increased by almost 25% at a time when the government is unable to provide for its own citizens. While applauded by the international community for its generous welcome of the refugees, many Albanians are concerned about the long-term effects of this population increase B particularly if the refugees are not able to return home in the near future.

The refugees are arriving in a country with a much lower standard of living than they had in Kosovo and are living among people who have even less than they do. For example, at least some of the refugees managed to bring some money (or cars or tractors) with them. As the international community has responded by providing the refugees in camps with food, shelter, water, and medical care, there is fear that the Albanian people may become resentful of this assistance.

The exodus of Kosovar Albanians is having a major impact on Albania. The Orthodox Church of Albania has responded to the needs of the refugees for not only humanitarian reasons but also for theological reasons. Archbishop Anastasios explained that when confronted with this humanitarian emergency "we could have said that we are a poor church and stood in the corner;" instead the church decided to follow the Gospel imperative to respond to the needs of suffering people and developed a major emergency programme to minister to the refugees. Presently, the Orthodox Church of Albania is mobilizing support from Protestants and Orthodox churches around the world through ACT in support of its ministry to Moslem refugees. This witness could be an important model for the Balkans as a whole. Unlike the response of the MCIC in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Diaconia Agapes has continued its regular development work throughout the country and has hired additional staff to respond to the emergency needs of the refugees.

Many of the refugees are housed in more than 300 camps throughout the country, while others live with host families and are mixed accommodation centres. While there is much discussion (as in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) about the need to provide shelter for the refugees during the winter, there is also deep concern about their situation this summer. In recent years, Albania has experienced serious water and electrical shortages during the summer months. Typically one-fourth of Tirana's population is blacked out on a rotating basis. As Penny Deligiannis, Director of the ACT/Diaconia Agapes emergency programme, asked AWhat will be the impact of providing water and at least some electricity to an additional 450,000 refugees?"'

We visited one refugee camp at Ndroq which has been built and is being managed by Diaconia Agapes/Action by Churches Together. The camp presently hosts 1250 refugees and has a capacity for expansion to 2000 people. Like the camps we visited in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, most of the refugees are living in tents. The presence of trees and green spaces creates a more open feeling in the camp and also gives the refugee families more privacy than in the other refugee camps which we saw. Although the camp has only been open for 10 days, most of the facilities are in place and attention is being devoted to the psycho-social needs of traumatized refugees as well as to their material needs. Medical services and a fire brigade are provided by the Polish government. An additional three sites have been identified for construction of additional refugee camps by ACT/Diaconia Agapes and these are expected to be opened within the next month.

As in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, we heard reports that some Albanians are resentful of the care which the refugees are receiving. Most Albanians are desperately poor and the country's infrastructure is sadly deficient. Thus, Diaconia Agapes/ACT is considering measures to ensure that the water supply of the nearby village of Ndroq is also improved. The question of camp placement is a sensitive one. In some cases, organizations have had difficulties in finding land for refugee camps in which ownership is clear. The church has also been sensitive to the need to place refugees in area where their presence is less likely to engender strong negative reactions from the local communities.

As in the Former Republic of Macedonia, many thousands of refugees in Albania are living with host families. In some cases, they live with family members, but we also heard reports of Albanians seeing refugees on the streets and inviting them into their homes. But most Albanian families already live in small spaces and have few resources. While international media attention focuses on the large refugee camps, conditions in the host families are deteriorating as many Albanians are now entering their third month as host families. Thus a major component of the ACT/Diaconia Agapes emergency programme consists of assistance to families hosting refugees through regular delivery of food and hygiene parcels.

In visiting the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy in St. Vlash/Durres, we learned that the seminary students have become involved in the ministry to refugees. Once a week they travel to Ndroq to visit the refugees B to meet them, to develop activities for the children, and most of all, to establish human contact. In Durres, the seminarians are involved in distribution of food parcels to 500 Kosovar Albanian refugees living with 120 Albanian families in the nearby town. Several of the seminarians noted that they were wary and nervous about meeting the refugees for the first time as they were unsure about how the refugees would view the Orthodox seminarians. But they were surprised and happy to find that they were warmly received by the refugees who appreciated the outreach by the churches. The students used the occasion of their first visit to identify other needs of the refugees. They found, for example, that many of the refugees were sleeping on concrete floors and that they had no baby food and are planning to distribute mattresses and baby food in subsequent visits.

19 May: Thessaloniki-Strumica, visits to Methodist churches in Strumica, Murtino, Kolesino, and Monospitovo, then to Skopje, Macedonia.

20 May: Skopke, meetings with Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation, Macedonian Orthodox Church, Islamic Religious Community, Saso Klekovski, Director, MCIC, Caritas-Macedonia, dinner: MCIC Executive Board

21 May: Field visits to Radusa refugee camp, Cegrane refugee camp, visit to the Roma "Moon" humanitarian and charity association in Gostivar

22 May: Skopje-Tirana, brief meeting with His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and All Albania

23 May: Tirana: worship at the Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral, visit to the ACT/Diaconia Agapes refugee camp in Ndroq, meeting with His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios and Penny Deligiannis, Director of ACT/DA Emergency Programme in Albania

24 May: Tirana: visit to Children's nursery school, Diagnostic Center of the Annunciation, the radio station "Ngjallja". Durres: visit to St. Vladh monastery and the Resurrection Orthodox Theological Seminary. Dinner with His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios and Penny Deligannis

25 May: Tirana-Thessaloniki

People met
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Mihail and Cristina Cekov, Methodist Church in Strumica
Gonce Jakovleska, Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation
Metropolitan Kiril, Macedonian Orthodox Church
Priest Dragi Kostadinovski, Macedonian Orthodox Church
Fejnula Fazliu, Islamic Religious Community
Msgr. Antun Cirimetic, Director Caritas-Macedonia
Mirko Spirovsla, Professor of Medicine and President of the MCIC Board
Teuta Cuckova-Krasnica, MCIC Executive Board
Nurije Kadriu, MCIC Executive Board (Union of Albanian Women)
Edwin Bjastad, Norwegian Church Aid, Radusa camp
Skendevi Samet, "Moon" Roma Humanitarian organization
Muhamed Toci, "Moon" Roma Humanitarian organization

Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and All Albania
Penny Deligiannis, Director of Emergency Programme of ACT/DA
Paul Zanes, ACT/DA
John Damerel, ACT/DA
Juhani Kokko, ACT/DA
Martti Penttinen, ACT/DA
Fr. Luke A. Veronis, Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy, St. Vlash-Durres

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