Albanians in Switzerland

Day 17 – Albanians in Switzerland

A first-generation immigrant, Sharif moved to Switzerland in 1988. Like thousands of young Albanian men, who had flocked to Europe in the 1980s, he arrived with a dream of a better life. Indeed, many thousands more like him flooded into Switzerland during the years of the war in Kosovo.

Today, Sharif works an unsatisfying job in a large factory. And he dreams of one day returning home to start a business or return to a ‘better place’ that he can only barely remember. He has spent much building the family home in his original village, and he has visited many times, being sure to bring back some money for those in need.

Illustration by Hattie Lee for 30 Days of Prayer

However, Sharif and his wife stay in Switzerland so their boys may attend a Swiss university and make a better life for themselves. And with their parents aging and siblings growing apart, they visit home less and less. Slowly, their dream of returning fades.

About 300,000 Albanians now live in Switzerland. They have a strong community, with most Albanian mosques teaching a moderate form of Sunni Islam. Yet, for most of them, Islam plays a very small role in their daily life. Indeed, most Albanians in Switzerland have many other worries competing for their energies, from work to family to the wide-spread discrimination they face.

How to Pray

+ There is no ethnically Albanian church in Switzerland and there are few Swiss Albanian believers. Pray for them to be a bright witness in their communities.

+ Pray for deep friendships between Swiss believers and Albanians that allow for deep faith conversations.

+ As migration mixes up ethnic communities in Europe, pray for good to come out of the mingling of cultures.

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