Faith

A meeting at the mosque
Meeting at one of the offices of the newly-opened Albanian Mosque in Carlton, 1969.
Source: Ali Ymer

The Albanian community was responsible for constructing the first Victorian mosques in the 1960s, in Shepparton and Carlton. These expressed the deep-rooted and strongly held sentiments of the community for a continuity between past, present and future. They also signalled, in concrete and visible terms, the Albanian community’s transformation from a kurbet community to a settled community, which regarded itself as an integral part of Australian
society.

Albanians of non-Islamic faiths, such as Catholic and Orthodox, found an established network of religious institutions available to them in the places they settled with their Muslim compatriots. However in the absence of Albanian churches and Albanian-speaking ministers, Christian Albanians struggle to maintain their unique heritage.

The common Albanian identity unites Muslim and non-Muslim Albanians. Their shared heritage is celebrated in community events, such as Albanian National Day, and major religious festivities as well as life events, such as weddings, births and deaths.