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Balkan conflict eased by Albanian Christians

Albanian Christians have been helping Muslim victims of the Kosovo crisis.

Relief efforts by the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania began late in 1998 when Kosovar refugees began crossing into Albania. The church helped 20,000 ethnic Albanian Muslim and Catholic refugees by providing shelter and food, much of it in the homes of church members.

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The Albanian church plans to send teams of relief workers into Kosovo to continue the aid to old and new refugees. "We knew the Serbian church did not support what [President Slobodan] Milosevic was doing [in Kosovo]," said Archbishop Anastasios, the leader of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. "We also know that the Yugoslavian leadership was not acting in line with Orthodox values."

Of the 3.5 million citizens of Albania, 65 percent are Muslim, 25 percent are Orthodox, and 11 percent are Roman Catholic.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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