Albania is located in southeastern Europe, west of Greece. It borders Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Greece. It covers only 28,748 square kilometers, making it one of the smallest countries in Europe. Albania is bordered on the west by the Adriatic Sea, so fishing is an important industry in the area.
Population: 3 million
Ethnic Groups: Albanian (95%), Greek (3%), other (2%)
Languages: Albanian (Tosk is the official dialect), Greek
Religions: Muslim (70%), Albanian Orthodox (20%), Roman Catholic (10%)
ALBANIANS IN TORONTO
In Canada: 22,395
In the GTA: 11,385
In the City of Toronto: 6,175
Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
Vaughan, City of Toronto, Caledon
Albania was almost entirely Christian in the 16th century, but government policy in the 17th century Islamized the country (for example, by offering tax incentives for converting to Islam). Albania had been under a Communist regime from 1944 until the early 1990s. During this time, religion was banned and in 1967 Albania was declared the first atheistic country in the world. The ban on religion was lifted in 1990, and since 1991, Albania has held peaceful, multiparty elections. Today, Albania is a secular state. Albanians enjoy religoius freedom, and there is a very high degree of religious tolerance today.
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