International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Church Issue of Shkodra between Albania and Yugoslavia in its Initial Phase (1912-1923)
Ardit Bido

This paper examines the initial phase of the Church issue between Albania and Yugoslavia, regarding the area of Shkodra. Northern Albania contains a small orthodox population, of both Albanian and Serb/Montenegrin ethnic origin. When Albania was declared independent in 1912, the Yugoslav Government and the Serbian Church tried to establish special privileges regarding the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Shkodra area, by appointing a Serbian administrator. After the separation of the Albanian Orthodox Church from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, this jurisdiction was elevated into a diocese and the administrator was elevated into the rank of bishop. Although, Serbian officials tried to mediate the endorsement of the bishop by local authorities, the Albanian Church convinced the Albanian authorities to reject his installation. This development triggered a diplomatic battle between Yugoslavia and Albania, forcing the involvement of the international community for the resolution of the issue, which was reached temporarily in 1923.

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