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Albania, Islam in

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Albania, Islam in

    Albania was part of the Ottoman Empire and is the only European country with a Muslim majority. It is home to 800 mosques and 360 Bektashi Sufi holy places. The head of the Bektashi Sufi order reestablished his headquarters there in 1928 when he was expelled from Turkey. Islamic religious leaders were persecuted and killed under the Communist regime, and the state was declared officially atheist in 1967 , resulting in the closure and destruction of mosques and churches and a ban on wearing religious symbols. The ban was lifted in 1990 , leading to the return of religious worship, rededication of mosques, and display of religious works of art. Muslim missionary organizations and charities have provided funds to restore mosques and promote Islam, but unrest among Muslims in Kosovo and disturbances within the country have made the restoration of normal religious life difficult.

    See also Kosovo, Islam in

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