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Russia’s Patriarch Kirill Visits Muslim-Majority Albania

Russian Patriarch Kirill (file photo)
Russian Patriarch Kirill (file photo)

Patriarch Kirill is making his first trip as leader of the Russian Orthodox Church to Muslim-majority Albania.

The patriarch was welcomed on April 28 by the primate of Albania's Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Archbishop Anastasios, upon his arrival at Tirana-Mother Teresa International Airport.

The archbishop said the patriarch’s “historical peace visit" was "of remarkable importance."

Kirill is also scheduled to meet with Albanian President Ilir Meta and Prime Minister Edi Rama during the three-day visit.

He is also set to visit a liturgy in the Resurrection Cathedral in Tirana and make a trip to Durres, where he will visit the theological academy there.

Most of Albania’s 3 million people are Muslim, but there are Orthodox Christian and Catholic communities.

The 2011 census estimated that Orthodox Christians make up about 7 percent of the country’s population.

Based on reporting by AP, Interfax, TASS, and Ortho