UNDP Albania study on Religious Tolerance reveals that religious tolerance is broadly valued and supported by Albanian citizensApr 25, 2018
Albania study on Religious Tolerance reveals that religious tolerance is broadly valued and supported by Albanian citizens
United Nations Development Programme in Albania together with the Institute for Democracy and Mediation published today the study on Albania’s Religious Tolerance carried out with support from the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub.
The study was presented today during a ceremony organised under the auspices of Albania’s President H.E. Ilir Meta. The event brought together representatives of religious communities, government institutions, diplomatic corps and civil society.
The study finds that religious tolerance is valued and broadly supported by Albanian citizens. More than 90 percent of Albanians consider religious tolerance to be a fundamental value and confirm that the state does not interfere with the religious belief of the individual. They also believe that national feelings, secularism and leaders of religious communities play an important role in upholding and strengthening religious tolerance.
Religious tolerance is generally honoured as a civic or moral value and national tradition rather than as a social practice that relies upon both knowledge of different religions and acceptance of religious differences. Approximately ten percent of respondents thought that there are no major threats to religious tolerance in Albania. The top three possible threats to religious tolerance include (i) terrorism, religious extremism and inciting of religious hatred; (ii) politicisation of religion; and (iii) external threats and propaganda or conflicts happening abroad.
The President the Republic of Albania H.E. Ilir Meta underlined that the study aims to depict a real picture of current religious co-existence in Albania. He praised the constructive role of religious leaders in the country and encouraged a greater cooperation among religious institutions, government entities, civil society organisations as well as international partners to nurture and support the religious harmony in Albania”.
Brian J. Williams – UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative underlined: “Albania features a peaceful religious co-existence that should be rightly celebrated. Greater understanding of Albania’s social fabric, and how religious affiliation and practice weaves through it, is necessary if Albania is to continue to invest in - and benefit from - its renowned tolerance”.
The study is based on the nationwide public survey of 1,100 respondents and was accompanied with six focus groups. Research was conducted during the period April – September 2017. The study will be available in both Albanian and English at the UNDP Albania website www.al.undp.org