Although not part of the Soviet Union, this small Balkan country was ruled by a Marxist-Leninist style communist government from 1946 to 1992.

Originally a Christian country (est 325 AD), the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century forced the population to convert to Islam. Today, the majority of Albanians consider themselves culturally Muslim. They observe major religious holidays but are otherwise non-practicing. This aspect of Albanian society means that they are largely open to spiritual ideas, making the relationships we have formed both meaningful and fruitful. Albanians are highly social and it is not uncommon to meet for coffee several times a day. Additionally, due to U.S. military assistance during the Kosovo conflict of the late ’90s, Albanians are very welcoming towards Americans.

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Country Snapshot

Area: (slightly smaller than Maryland) total: 28,748 sq km (11,100 sq miles), land: 27,398 sq km (10,578 sq miles), water: 1,350 sq km (521 sq miles)

Population: 3,057,220 (July 2018 est.)

Population growth rate:0.3%(2018 est.)

Capital City: Tirana

Independence Day: 28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)

Ethnic Groups: Albanian 82.6%, Greek 0.9%, other 1% (including Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Egyptian), unspecified 15.5% (2011 est.) Note:  data represent population by ethnic and cultural affiliation

Languages: Albanian 98.8% (official – derived from Tosk dialect), Greek 0.5%, other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Roma, Vlach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: total population: 78.6 years / male: 76 / female: 81.6 years (2018 est.)

Religious Groups:
Muslim 56.7%
Orthodox 6.8%
atheist 2.5%
Bektashi (a Sufi order) 2.1%
other 5.7%
unspecified 16.2%

Note: All mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice (2011 est.)

SON’s Work in Albania

English Bible Camps

Partnering with Alpha Omega Church, SON takes short term teams each summer to co-lead English Bible Camps in the mountain village of Peshkopi. Albanian Pastor Ermal Lushi and his American wife, Sarah lead this small congregation and are the only Christian church within a 2-hour driving radius. Because of their first-hand experience in working with the Muslim culture, SON creates a curriculum specific to this context. Alpha Omega truly understands the outreach opportunity that SON English Bible Camps provide. After the teams return to the U.S. they host numerous reunion activities for the students; including interactions specific to Christmas and Easter messages where students are encouraged to invite their families. This has been very successful, resulting in a steady number of baptisms and an increase in church life.

Full Time Missionaries - Dan & Dawn Hall

In 2014 Dan and Dawn Hall answered the call to move to Albania to help start an English-speaking private school in Peshkopi; a small rural village near the Macedonian border. Educators by trade, but also the son of a Lutheran pastor and daughter of Lutheran missionaries, Dan and Dawn soon realized that their true calling was to bring their love of Jesus to Albania. They are currently full-time SON Network missionaries, working with Alpha Omega Church (the only church in the region). They are on the leadership team with the pastor, Ermal, and his wife Sarah. He is from Peshkopi, and she is from America.

Dan & Dawn teach English to all ages including adults, using creative methods to give students more experience hearing native speakers, and practicing English so they can learn to communicate effectively. The main purpose of these courses is to connect the people of Peshkopi to the Church to give them the opportunity to hear the Good News of the Gospel. Many of the students who attend one of our English Bible Camps also become interested in attending the English courses and ultimately become involved at the church. Dan & Dawn also assist in many other church ministries such as the children’s programs, adult Bible studies, Sunday services, food distribution, fundraising, summer English language camps and follow up. They have recently started several home Bible study groups in Peshkopi, and are seeing growth in participation. They are planning outreaches into neighboring villages to start new Bible studies that will eventually form new churches

The Halls are actively raising funds for regular support of their ministry in Albania. If you are interested in helping support them, click on this link: or you can also give by visiting the SON Give page!