The Religious Cults of the Albanian Faith during the Early 20th Century


  • Benita Stavre
  • Erinda Papa



religious faith, pagan symbols, traditional traits, bloodfeud, religious conversion and tolerance.


During the early twentieth century, Albania was visited by various British and American people who were eager to know about the curious features of this little country’s particular life. They had heard of it in their homeland and chose to trace a reality that was much different from the one they were used to. The materials they wrote and published, constitute a reliable source of information, whose analysis from the modern perception draws a picture of the life almost a century ago. This paper aims to describe the particular context of the relation that Albanian people had created with God and the way the religious life was shaped through the traditional rituals of the country. A few of the arguments that will be analyzed are: the way the religious faith was integrated in the daily activities, the religious tolerance in the state policies and the way it was reflected in the life context, religious attitudes due to the historical development of the past centuries, the influence of the new entries of the ‘30s, the restricted intercourse of the northern Albanians due to their geographical isolation and the pagan rituals and symbols of the traditional ceremonies. The Albanian way of worshiping seems to have been shaped by life pragmatism, social equilibrium and personal honesty. Nothing can describe it better than the people who lived with it for some time and were able to define it from a different mental perception. The description may supply modern insight of the particular attitude that this country reflected in early in the past century.