Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1
Religious Adherence, 2002 (other estimates)2
The country has an area of 11,100 square miles and a population of 3.6 million. No reliable data were available on religious participation or membership; the last official census including such data was held in 1939. The majority of citizens do not actively practice a faith; however, the four traditional religious groups are Muslim (Sunni), Bektashi (a particularly liberal form of Shi'a Sufism), Orthodox Christian (the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania), and Roman Catholic. In addition, there are substantial numbers of Protestant denominations, Baha'is, Jehovah's Witnesses, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and other religious groups.
The State Committee on Cults reported a total of 245 religious groups, organizations, and foundations in addition to the four traditional religious groups. This number includes 34 Islamic organizations and 189 Protestant organizations, mostly associated with the Albanian Evangelical Alliance (VUSH).
Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.
1. The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.
2. Estimates based on the Comparative Values Survey of Islamic Countries supplemented by the 2009 Pew report entitled "Mapping the Global Muslim Population," which was used to estimate the percentage who were Sunni or Shi'a.
Estimates represent the proportion of respondents to the Comparative Values Survey of Islamic Countries in the country under consideration who reported the specific religious tradition. The survey is a subset of the World Values Survey, which compiles nationally representative public opinion data of adults (18 or older) from a variety of countries. The general methodology is a stratified random sample with each country containing a minimum of 1000 cases. Estimates represent the proportion of respondents to the third wave of the World Values Survey (2005-2008) who reported the specific religious tradition in the country of consideration.
The Pew report bases its estimates of the proportion of the Muslim population that is Shi'a on 1) "Analyses by more than 20 demographers and social scientists at universities and
research centers around the world who are acting as consultants on this project"; 2) "Ethnographic analyses published in the World Religion Database (WRD)"; and 3) "review of other published or frequently used estimates."
3. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.