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Pope Francis

Arrives in Albania

20 Sep, 2014

albaniaPope Francis arrives in Albania to meet with 11 heads of various religious communities to promote harmony. Francis is only the second pope to visit Albania. Pope John Paul II visited the country in 1992. Due to reported planned attacks by Islamic militants, security is very tight. Albania has raised its police force alert to the highest level, and the Interior Ministry is promising “maximum” protection by the deployment of 2,500 police and the setting up of 29 security checkpoints in the capital, Tirana. During the visit, Francis will meet Albanian President Bujar Nishani, celebrate mass in Mother Teresa square in Tirana,and meet with religious leaders, including those of the Muslim, Orthodox, Bektashi, Jewish and Protestant faith. According to official data, 59 percent of Albania’s population are Muslim, while Catholics make up 10 percent and Orthodox Christian slightly less.