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Alaska blackfish

The Alaska blackfish, Dallia pectoralis, is a fish that grows to seven inches in length. It is elongate and cylindrical, with a dark olive-brown coloration. Four to six dark blotches run vertically along the sides, and the belly is white. The fins have reddish-brown speckles. Once thought to be a herbivores, its primary diet is larvae of insects such as midges and mosquitos. They are found in swamps, ponds, lakes and streams with vegetation for cover, in tundra and forested locations not far inland. Their range includes Alaska and the Bering Sea islands. Alaska Natives once ate these fish and fed them to their dogs, catching them in the fall and freezing them for use over winter.

The hardiness of the Alaska blackfish is of mythical proportions), including tales of reviving fish after they are frozen solid. The fish survive the cold winters by moving to a depth of 7–8 meters when the surface becomes solid ice. Large gills protected by gill covers help them to survive the winters where the water temperatures drop to 0°C (32°F). Though the Alaskan blackfish can be supercooled for short periods at temperatures as low as -20°C (-36°F) in controlled environments without contact with ice crystals, no Alaska blackfish has ever survived for even as much as an hour under these freezing conditions. Freezing any part of the body results in necrosis.

Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania

The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania (Albanian: Kisha Ortodokse Autoqefale e Shqipërisë) is one of the newest autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. It declared its autocephaly in 1922, and gained recognition from the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1937.

The church suffered during the Second World War, and in the communist period that followed, especially after 1967 when Albania was declared an atheist state, and no public or private expression of religion was allowed.

The church has, however, seen a revival since religious freedom was restored in 1991, with more than 250 churches rebuilt or restored, and more than 100 clergy being ordained. It has 909 parishes spread all around Albania, and around 500,000 faithful.[5]


Christianity first arrived in Albania with Saint Paul during the 1st century. Saint Paul wrote that he preached in the Roman province of Illyricum,[7] and legend holds that he visited Durrës.[8] However it was with Constantine the Great, who issued the Edict of Milan and legalized Christianity, that the Christian religion became official in the lands of modern Albania.[9]

When Albania came under Ottoman influence in 15th century the Orthodox people of Albania were members of the Archbishopric of Ohrid which was officially recognized by the Ottoman Empire.[10] Following the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century, a slow conversion of Albanians to Islam started. By mid-19th century because of the Tanzimat reforms that had started in 1839 the majority of Albanians had become Muslim. The Tanzimat reform that mostly decreased the number of Christians in Albania was the obligatory draft for non-Muslim soldiers.

Under Ottoman rule, the remaining Eastern Orthodox population of Albania south of the Drin river was integrated into the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and all local Eastern Orthodox religious services, instruction and cultural activities were conducted in Greek. The territory north of the Drin was a part of the Serbian Church and had had Slavic liturgy.

Autocephaly and statutes

On March 18, 1908, as a result of the Hudson Incident, when a young Albanian, Kristaq Dishnica, was excommunicated for his patriotic activities, Fan Noli was ordained as a priest by a Russian bishop in the United States.[11][12][13] In March 1908, Noli thus led the first time in Albanian the Orthodox liturgy for the Albanian-American community.

Noli had prepared his own translation of the liturgy into Albanian, and used it also during a tour several major cities of Europe in 1911. Soon after Albanian independence in 1912, Noli (who in 1924 would also be a political figure and prime minister of Albania), traveled to Albania where he would be ordained a bishop and become the head of the church.

The Church declared its autocephaly in Berat on September 17, 1922, at its first congress. At the end of the congress the First Statute of the Church was approved.[2]

The Church had a Second Statute that amended the First Statute in a second congress gathered in Korçë on June 29, 1929.[14] Also on September 6, 1929, the first Regulation of General Administration of the Church was approved.[15]

On November 26, 1950, the Parliament of Albania approved the Third Statute that abrogated the 1929 Statute. Such new statute required Albanian citizenship for the primate of the church in its article #4. With the exception of the amendments made in 1993, this statute is still in force for the Church.[16]

On January 21, 1993, the 1950 statute was amended and 1996 it was approved by the President of the Republic Sali Berisha. In particular article #4 of the 1950 statute that required Albanian citizenship for primate of the church was no longer required.

On November 3 and 4, 2006, at the new Monastery of St. Vlash in Durres, there was a special Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, attended by 257 representatives (including all clergy members). At this Assembly the New Constitution (Statute) of the Church was analyzed and accept unanimously. On November 6, 2006, the Holy Synod approved this Constitution (Statute). On November 24, 2008, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania and the Council of Ministers signed an agreement according to the 1998 Albanian Constitution, for the arrangement of their reciprocal relationship. The agreement was ratified by the Albanian Parliament, and became law nr.10057, 01.22.2009 of the Albanian State. [17]

Archbishop of Tirana

Main article: Archbishop of Tirana

The Primate of the Church is also Archbishop of Tirana. The current Archbishop of Tirana is Archbishop Anastasios of Albania.


The church greatly suffered during the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha as all churches were placed under government control, and land originally held by religious institutions were taken by the state. Religion in schools was banned. In 1952 Archbishop Kristofor was discovered dead; most believed he had been killed.

In 1967, inspired by China's Cultural Revolution, Hoxha closed down all churches and mosques in the country, and declared Albania the world's first (and only) atheist country. All expression of religion, public or private, was outlawed. Hundreds of priests and imams were killed or imprisoned.[18]

Revival of the Church

At the end of the communist rule, when religious freedom was restored, only 22 Orthodox priests remained alive. To deal with this situation, the Ecumenical Patriarch appointed Anastasios to be the Patriarchal Exarch for the Albanian Church. Bishop of Androusa Anastasios before his appointment was dividing his time between his teaching duties at the University of Athens and the Archbishopric of Irinoupolis in Kenya, which was then going through a difficult patch. Elected on 24 June 1992 and enthroned on 2 August 1992.[19] Over time Anastasios has gained respect for his charity work and now is recognized as a spiritual leader of the Albanian Orthodox Church.

Orthodox parishes with active liturgical lives have been established in a majority of cities and villages. Liturgical, preaching, and catechism ministries have been expanded, increasing the participation of both clergy and laity. Several groups have been organized to assist the church with its ministries: the Orthodox Women, and Orthodox Intellectuals. The moral and spiritual strength offered through the cultivation of a sound religious life is contributing decisively to the general progress of the Albanian society.

While most parishes use Albanian language, Greek is also used in the ethnically mixed areas, where Greek is also spoken. The Albanian Orthodox liturgy is the only one in the world to use Modern Greek rather than Koine of the New Testament.

New clergy and ecclesiastical and theological education

The Church has prepared a new generation of clergy. Anastasios started a seminary in 1992 initially in a disused hotel, which was in 1996 relocated to its own buildings at Shën Vlash, 15 kilometres from the port of Durrës. As of February 2011, there were 145 clergy members, all of them Albanian citizens who graduated from the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy. This Academy is also preparing new members (men and women) for catechism and for other services in different Church activities.

Meanwhile students are continuing their theological educations in well-known theological universities abroad.[20]

Two ecclesiastical high schools for boys were opened - the "Holy Cross" in Gjirokastër in 1998, and the "Holy Cross" in Sukth of Durrës in 2007.

New and reconstructed churches

So far, 150 new churches have been built, 60 monasteries and more than 160 churches have been repaired.[21] Many buildings have been built, and others have been bought and reconstructed for various purposes. (These 70 buildings include: preschools, schools, youth centers, health centers, metropolitan sees, hospitality homes, workshops, soup kitchens, etc.) All together there have been about 450 building projects. Through its construction projects and provision of jobs, the Orthodox Church is contributing to the economic development of Albania and is one of the most serious investors in the country, offering work for many local builders and dozens workers. Since 1995, the Church has put on an architecture course from time to time, each year giving more than 40 young people instruction in various aspects of ecclesiastical construction and architecture.

Media and publishing

The Orthodox Church of Albania has its own radio station, named "Ngjallja" (Resurrection) which 24 hours a day broadcasts spiritual, musical, informative and educational programmes and lectures, and has a special children's programme.[22]

A monthly newspaper with the same name, Ngjallja, is published, as well as a children's magazine Gëzohu (“Rejoice”), the magazine of the Orthodox Youth Kambanat (“Bells”), the student bulletin Fjala (“Word”), the news bulletin News from Orthodoxy in Albania (published in English) and Tempulli (“Temple”) and Kërkim (“Searching/Research”) magazine, that contains cultural, social and spiritual materials, Enoria Jonë (“Our Parish”).

As of February 2008, more than 100 books with liturgical, spiritual, intellectual, academic topics had been published.[23]

Social activities [24]

The Orthodox Church in Albania has taken various social initiatives. It started with health care, by organizing from 1999, diagnostic center “The Annunciation” Orthodox Diagnostic Center in Tirana, with some of Albania's most renowned doctors and administers health care and most contemporary health services in 23 different specialties; four medical clinics, and one mobile dental clinic. The office “Service of Love” (Diakonia Agapes) for along now is contributing in the increasing of midwives’ and nurses’ role offering those training projects and assistance.

The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania made extensive humanitarian contributions during the political and social crises (1992, 94, 97), collecting and distributing thousands of tons of food, clothing and medicine. Supported a wide range of social programs including: development projects in the mountain regions, especially in the areas of agriculture and farming; road construction water – supply, educative programs on health for children, the building of rural health centers and contributions for schools, orphanages, hospitals, institutes for the disabled, elderly homes, prisons (i.e., the greenhouse financed and built by the Church where the prisoners work and the income serve for them and construction of sports ground, soup kitchen for the poorest, etc.[22]

During 1999 when Albania accepted waves of refugees from Kosovo, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania in collaboration with donors and other international religious organizations (especially ACT and WCC) lead an extensive humanitarian program of more than 12 million dollars, hosting 33,000 Kosovars in its two camps and giving them food, clothes, medical care, etc.

Apart from the theological schools, it has established three elementary schools (1st – 9th), 17 day-care centers, two institutes for professional training (named "Spirit of Love", established in Tiranë in 2000) which is said to be the first of its kind in Albania and provides education in the fields of Team Management, IT Accounting, Computer Science, Medical Laboratory, Restoration and Conservation of Artwork and Byzantine Iconography.[22] and Gjirokastra, 1 professional school, children Orphanage “The Orthodox Home of Hope”, a high school dormitory for the girls, also given technical and material support to many public schools.

An environmental programme was started in 2001.[22]

An Office of Cultural Heritage was established to look after the orthodox structures considered to be national cultural monuments and repaired. A number of choirs have been organized in the churches. A Byzantine choir has also been formed and has produced cassettes and CDs. A workshop for the restoration and painting of icons was established with order to train a new generation of artists to revive the rich tradition of iconography. The Church has also sponsored important academic publications, documentary films, academic symposiums and various exhibits of iconography, codex, children’s projects and other culturally related themes.

The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania actively participates as equals in the events of the Orthodox Church worldwide. It is a member of the Conference of the European Churches (of which the Archbishop Anastasios has served as vice-president since December 2003), the World Council of the Churches (of which Archbishop Anastasios was chosen as one of eight presidents in 2006), and largest inter-faith organization in the world, "Religions for Peace" (of which His Beatitude Anastasios was chosen as Honorary President in 2006), is also active in various ecumenical conferences and programs. The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania also contributes to the efforts for peaceful collaboration, and solidarity in the region and beyond.

Alexandrian Rite

The Alexandrian Rite is officially called the Liturgy of Saint Mark, traditionally regarded as the first bishop of Alexandria. The Alexandrian Rite contains elements from the liturgy of Saint Basil, Cyril the Great, and Saint Gregory Nazianzus. The Liturgy of Saint Cyril is a Coptic version of the Liturgy of Saint Mark that was in Greek.

The Alexandrian Rite is sub-grouped into two rites: the Coptic Rite and the Ge'ez Rite. Primarily located in Egypt, The Coptic Rite uses the Coptic in its liturgy in both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Coptic Catholic Church. The Ge'ez Rite is found in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Jerusalem, and Somalia. It is used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the Ethiopian Catholic Church in their liturgies.

Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church

The Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church is an autonomous (in Latin, sui iuris) Byzantine Rite particular Church in communion with Rome, whose members live in Albania. It is not to be confused with the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church.


The conversion to Christianity of Albania took place under Latin influence in the north, under Greek in the south, and Christianity was the first and the oldest monotheistic religion of Albanian people. After the fifteenth-century Turkish conquest, some two thirds of the population accepted Islam. In 1967, Communist-ruled Albania was officially declared an atheist state.

Though the Greek liturgical rite was used in many of its churches, Albania was part of the patriarchate of Rome until 731, when Byzantine Emperor Leo III, in reprisal for the opposition of Pope Saint Gregory III to the emperor's iconoclast policy, attached the whole of eastern Illyricum to the patriarchate of Constantinople.

Catholics, of Latin Rite, were long established in the north of the country. A Catholic mission worked in the south between 1660, when the Orthodox Archbishop joined the Catholic Church, to 1765, when the effort was abandoned because of obstacles placed by the Turkish rulers. In 1895 a group of villages in Mali Shpati, southeast of Elbasan in central Albania, decided to become Catholic and demanded a Catholic bishop of their own rite, a proposal to which the consular representatives of Russia and Montenegro raised objections with the civil authorities. At about the same time, another group of Greek-Catholics arose, centred on an archimandrite who was a nephew of the Orthodox metropolitan. Numbers grew only to a small extent, but enough for southern Albania to become in 1939 a separate ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the care of an Apostolic Administrator. However, after less than seven years, the Administrator was expelled, and contact seemed lost with the Byzantine faithful, who found themselves under strict Communist rule.

Only in 1992 was it possible to appoint a new Apostolic Administrator. At first the post was given to the Holy See's diplomatic representative in Tirana, Archbishop Ivan Dias, who later became Archbishop of Mumbai and a cardinal. Archbishop Dias's successor as Apostolic Administrator of Southern Albania, not as Nuncio, is the Croatian-born Byzantine-Rite Franciscan Bishop Hil Kabashi, who was appointed in 1996.

The Apostolic Administratorship of Southern Albania has 3,200 Catholics in 9 parishes, with 11 churches, and is served by 4 diocesan and 10 religious priests, 10 male and 97 female religious, who administer 10 schools and 20 charitable institutions. The great majority of these are of Latin, not Byzantine, Rite.


Abun (in Europe erroneously known as Abuna, which is the status constructus form used when a name follows: Ge'ez ??? ’abuna/abune, 'our father'; Amharic and Tigrinya) is the honorific title used for any bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church as well as of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It was historically used solely for the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Ethiopia during the more than 1000 years when the Patriarchate of Alexandria appointed only one bishop at a time to serve its Ethiopian flock. When referred to without a name following, it is Abun, and if a name follows, it becomes Abuna ... (e.g., Abuna Pawlos).


Historically the Abun of the Ethiopian Church was appointed by the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa, who had diocesan authority over Ethiopia and the rest of Africa, at the request of the Emperor and, in historic times, after paying a substantial fee to the Muslim government for the privilege. The Abun would be selected from the membership of the Monastery of Saint Anthony. Although several Abuns might be appointed at one time, a request in 1140 to appoint enough to consecrate a metropolitan was refused.[1]

The candidate frequently lacked knowledge of the native language and even with the local customs of the Ethiopian church. As a result, most Abuns had a minimal influence on both Ethiopian religion and politics. His authority eventually was filled in ecclesiastical matters by the Ichege or Abbot of the Monastery of Debre Libanos in Shewa, the sole possessor of this particular title in Ethiopia. (This title is now customarily held by the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.)

Visitors to Ethiopia at this time, such as Francisco Álvares in the 16th century and Remedius Prutky in the 18th century, were amazed at the mass ordination of deacons and priests with little more than a wave of the cross and a prayer, which was the Abun's principal duty.

After many centuries, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, the last reigning Orthodox Christian monarch in the world, reached an agreement with the Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria, Egypt, on 13 July 1948. This led to the promotion of the Church of Ethiopia to the rank of an autocephalous Patriarchate. Five bishops were immediately consecrated by the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria. They later elected an Ethiopian patriarch for their church following the death of Abuna Qerellos IV, the last Copt to lead the Church of Ethiopia.[2] The first Patriarch of Ethiopia was Abuna Basilios, who was consecrated 14 January 1951.

The current Patriarch of Ethiopia is Abune Paulos.

The Syriac-Aramaic word Abuna is used for bishops by Syriac Churches, literally meaning 'our father'.

Abuna is also a title used among Syriac Christians and Coptic Christians to refer to a priest. The title is used either by itself or with the priest's given name (for example, 'Abuna Tuma' for 'Father Thomas'). This title is not used in self-reference, rather the priest would refer to himself as al-Ab (???? al-’ab, literally 'the father').


1. "Dallia pectoralis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 30 January 2006.

2. Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Dallia pectoralis" in FishBase. January 2006 version.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alaska_blackfish", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


1. The Christianisation of Albania was apostolic, since Apostle Paul visited the territories of modern Albania. Theofan Noli is the founder of the autocephal church.

2. a b http://shqiptarortodoks.com/tekste/legjislacioni/statuti_1923.pdf

3. The statute of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania

4. CNEWA - Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania

5. John Anthony McGuckin (28 December 2010). The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to Its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture. John Wiley & Sons. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-4443-3731-0. Retrieved 8 June 2012. "The Orthodox currently represent about half a million faithful, worshipping in 909 parishes."

6. The Holy Synod of Albania, Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, accessed on 2008-06-16

7. "Paul, St" Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

8. Raymond Zickel and Walter R. Iwaskiw, editors. (1994). ""The Ancient Illyrians," Albania: A Country Study". [1]. Retrieved 9 April 2008.

9. http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_albaniaancient.htm

10. Egro, Dritan (2010), "Islam in the Albanian lands (XVth to the XVIIth Century)", in Schmitt, Oliver Jens, Religion und Kultur im albanischsprachigen Südosteuropa, 4, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, p. 25, ISBN 978-3-631-60295-9, "The Orthodox Albanians ... religiously ... were members of the church that was officially recognized by the Ottoman state.... The Archbishopric of Ohrid."

11. "The 90th Anniversary Historical Trilogy by Denise Lymperis". Saint George Cathedral.

12. "Orthodox Christians in North America 1794 - 1994". Orthodox Church of America.

13. Tarasar, Constance J. (1975). Orthodox America, 1794-1976: development of the Orthodox Church in America. Bavarian State Library. p. 309. Retrieved 2010-06-14.

14. http://shqiptarortodoks.com/tekste/legjislacioni/statuti_1929.pdf

15. http://shqiptarortodoks.com/tekste/legjislacioni/Rregullorja_1929.pdf

16. http://shqiptarortodoks.com/tekste/legjislacioni/statuti_1950.pdf

17. Ligj:10057: 22.01.2009

18. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism#Albania

19. Albanien: Geographie - historische Anthropologie - Geschichte - Kultur ... By Peter Jordan, Karl Kaser, Walter Lukan, Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Holm Sundhaussen page 302 [2]

20. Official site, "The preparation of the new clergy and ecclesiastical education"

21. Romfea news Official site, "Rebuilding"

22. a b c d Forest, Jim The Resurrection of the Church in Albania, World Council of Churches Publication, August 2002, ISBN 2-8254-1359-3

23. [ Official Site - Publication]

24. Official site "Overview 1991-2012"

25. Nußberger Angelika, Wolfgang Stoppel (2001) (in German), Minderheitenschutz im östlichen Europa (Albanien), Universität Köln, pp. 75, "p. 14"

26. Todorova Marii?a? Nikolaeva. Balkan identities: nation and memory. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2004 ISBN 978-1-85065-715-6, p. 107

27. Russell King, Nicola Mai, Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers (Ed.) (2005). The New Albanian Migration. Sussex Academic Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-903900-78-9.

28. Official Site - Photos

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Albanian_Orthodox_Church", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alexandrian_Rite", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Albanian_Greek-Catholic_Church", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


1. Margery Perham, The Government of Ethiopia, second edition (London: Faber and Faber, 1969), p. 104

2. Perham, Government, p. lvii

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Abuna", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.