Christianity Flourishes Among Albania's Romani Population

Albania's hopes of entry to the EU have helped the country learn what it means to live under democracy and this in turn has created a unique opportunity for Christian radio, says US-based World of Hope's Lee DeYoung.

"It is the only nominally Islamic country in Europe. Mosques are springing up, but so are congregations being planted and radio broadcasts over local stations are free to be heard, and they are reaping a harvest," he said in a Mission Network News report.

Words of Hope's Romani programmes in particular have been airing from Trans World Radio's transmitter in Albania for nearly a decade. Many of the world's estimated 44 million Romani are nomadic, and continue to be viewed as outcasts in many societies.

That's why Words of Hope has dedicated its ministry to bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Romani - work that is just as significant as completing a new Scripture translation for an unreached people group, says DeYoung.

"The majority population often doesn't view them very favorably", he said. But doors open when they hear that God really loves them, and Jesus Christ died for them, he says.

"It comes as shocking good news. There's been encouraging response to that, and we believe that with the expansion of the broadcast plan, that it'll help even more."

DeYoung says the response was so positive that they have added another radio station and expanded their programming. "We're grateful for the opportunity to broadcast inside the country from stations there and to fully establish all operations for production and follow-up inside that formerly closed country."