The Interreligious Council of Albania (IRCA) was established on October 22, 2007 by the four leaders of the traditional religious communities in Albania, Hajji Selim Muça, His Beatitude Anastasios Janullatos, Mons.Rrok Mirdita and H. Dede Reshat Bardhi, and it was also registered at the Tirana District Court. At the meeting of the Presidency Council held on October 22, 2018 full membership of Evangelical Alliance of Albania was also adopted, thus making it the fifth member religious community of the Interreligious Council of Albania.
The Interreligious Council of Albania was inaugurated on October 22, 2009 in the presence of the then President of the Republic of Albania, Prof. Dr. Bamir Topi, who said “It (IRCA) marks the institutionalization of religious tolerance in Albania. This is our common value and our rare virtue, which we will not only export wherever we can, but we will gladly share it with other countries and peoples around the globe. That is why I am here today; not only to celebrate the establishment of a Council so necessary and beneficial to the maintenance of interfaith relations in our country, but also to assure you of my unwavering personal and institutional support for this valuable and significant undertaking, in service of peace, welfare, coexistence and interfaith tolerance”.
At the promotional activity of IRCA establishment, clergymen from all religions assessed the council as an organism which will coordinate regional activities on the problems religious coexistence.
The chairman of Albania’s Muslim Community, H. Selim Muça, said in his speech that attitude towards religions “is not a standpoint or an indication of competition and domination, but a coexistence relationship in service of the society".
For the head of the Orthodox Church in Albania, Archbishop Anastasios Janullatos, "Everyone, Christians and Muslims should work for coexistence as it brings societal progress. Forgiveness and reconciliation cannot be products of a political factor, since religious communities are irreplaceable."
Over the years, in addition to participation in several international conferences, the Interreligious Council of Albania has often made press releases on common issues in the interests of the society, in defense of the universal values, and in the framework of promoting interfaith dialogue.
On October 22, 2018, the top leaders of religious communities of Albania held a meeting at the Muslim Community of Albania Headquarters, in which important decisions were made with regard to some changes in the statute of the Interreligious Council of Albania as well as its well-functioning. One of the decisions was full membership in IRCA of Albania’s Evangelical Alliance, headed by Mr. Ylli Doçi.
This meeting was attended by H.Skender Bruçaj, chairman of the Muslim Community of Albania, His Beatitude Anastasios Janullatos, head of the Albanian Autocephalic Orthodox Church, Mons.George Frendo, head of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of Albania, H.Dede Edmond Brahimaj, head of the World Bektashi Headquarters, and Pastor Ylli Doçi, head of Albania’s Evangelical Alliance.
During the meeting, in addition to statutory changes, decisions were made in terms of institutional management of Interreligious Council, which is composed of the Presidency Council, the Executive Council and the Secretary General. The highest decision-making body of IRCA Center is the Presidency Council, which consists of the member religious communities’ chairmen and members of the Center. The Executive Council consists of two representative members from each community.
a) "The highest decision-making body of the IRC of Albania Center is the Council of the Presidency, which consists of the Leaders of the religious communities participating in the Center. It convene not less than twice a year and in special cases.
The Chairmanship of the Presidency Council rotates among the IRCA member religious communities every year. For 2019, the Chairman of the Presidential Council was appointed the head of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, His Beatitude Anastasios Janullatos, while Secretary General was elected Dr. Genti Kruja, with a three-year mandate.
According to the statute of Interreligious Council of Albania, in case of the change of the chairman of each religious community, the new chairman will be automatically a member of the Presidency Council. On this occasion, following the elections in the Muslim Community of Albania in March 2019, the new chairman of MCA H. Bujar Spahiu is a member of the Presidency Council of Interreligious Council of Albania, confirmed at the IRC of Albania meeting on 16 April 2019.
The mission of Interreligious Council of Albania is to promote interfaith dialogue and harmony through joint projects and activities.
On October 25, 2018, Interreligious Council of Albania was awarded the "Sergio Vieira De Mello" prize in Krakow, Poland. The award was accorded to the five leaders of the religious communities in Albania, in recognition of promoting reconciliation and pursuing dialogue among religions in Albania. The "Sergio Vieira De Mello" prize is awarded every two years to an individual, group or organization demonstrating special and unique efforts to reconcile people and parties in conflict.
IRCA is a full member of the international multi-religious coalition “Religions for Peace”.
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Today, September 23, 2020, was the next meeting of the Executive Board of the Interreligious Council of Albania. The meeting was held at the premises of the Archdiocese of Tirana-Durrës, the meeting was opened by the Secretary General of IRCA, Dr. Genti Kruja, who made a summary of the activities developed during this year, where although in pandemic conditions and a period of several months quarantine IRCA has been active with physical and online meetings of its instances, developing several humanitarian and social projects, conceived and implemented by the Interreligious Council itself, through the Department of Women and the Department of Youth with the support of all religious communities and their leaders.
The members of the Executive Board then discussed about the jubilee year of the 30-th anniversary of freedom of religion, when the cult objects were reopened after the closure by the communist regime, an event which coincides in November this year, where the Interreligious Council will hold several initiatives for commemorate these days through the organization of several events.
After discussions and consultations, the meeting was welcomed by the Chairman of Interreligious Council Mons. George Frendo, at the same time President of the Episcopal Conference of Albania, who appreciated the work and initiatives undertaken by the members of the boards of the Interreligious Council of Albania. … See MoreSee Less