From: Exit News
Property Issues Affect Religious Freedom in Albania, US Department of State Reports

The US Department of State’s 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom published on June 10, found that Albania’s religious groups face issues of land ownership and property. 

The Albanian government has legalized 135 illegal constructions owned by religious groups in 2019, as compared to 105 it legalized during 2018. 11 cases are still under review.

The Agency for the Treatment of Property (ATP) reported that it rejected 150 ownership claims. The law then required the ATP to send the remaining 410 pending cases to the court system. 

The Evangelical Brotherhood of Albania (VUSH) continues facing difficulties in obtaining land to build a church and problems concerning municipal government fees.

The Albanian Islamic Community (AIC) and the Bektashi community reported problems defending title to certain properties.

The AIC has not received a permit to build a new campus for Beder University, although they issued a request in 2018 and Beder’s religious studies program received accreditation for another five years in November.

Religious communities run 114 educational institutions, including universities, primary and secondary schools, preschools, kindergartens, vocational schools, and orphanages.

The Agency for the Legalization, Urbanization, and Integration of Informal Construction (ALUIZNI) reported that through September it legalized 135 religious buildings, including four Catholic churches, 71 mosques, 12 Orthodox churches, and 48 tekkes.