God created everything with love and in the service of man. Although we humans are the highest creatures in the world, we have a duty to respect all other creatures and to participate together in worshiping the Creator. In his message, Protocol No. 629/1989, Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrius established the first day of September of each year as the Day of the Protection of the Natural Environment, and gave the patriarchal and fatherly blessing that on this day the entire Orthodox world was to pray for the whole creation. In this message, he expressed that he was observing the destruction of the environment that is being made by man today and encouraged all the believers of the world to cultivate ourselves and to educate our children, as well, to respect and preserve the natural environment.
Also from our Church there have been many serious initiatives given under the direction of His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios, who also in speeches and messages speaks about the importance of ecology and the role of man in the world.(Click - fragment from a speech of Archbishop Anastasios held at a symposium.)
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Environmental projects from a specially created office
Efforts to accomplish amajor environmental study project began in March 2001, with the formation of an environmental program and gathering of staff. The project also involved the formation of a postgraduate program for Albanian student who graduated in the fields of: Biology, Forestry and Environmental Engineering. Projects were implemented for the protection of the ecosystems of the area of Zvërneci, of Vjosa watershed, of the park of Llogara, and for the administration of the solid waste management in two cities of Albania. For further information, click here
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Youth initiatives and cleaning up the environmental
Our Orthodox youth are involved in a number of activities inside and outside the community, offering an important witness to every generation. Year after year, during meetings in Tirana and in other parts of Albania, ecological themes have been developed in order that the youth will become sensitized, not just informed, by participating in the cleaning up and regulation of nature and the environment.
At the "Bethlehem" Youth Center and also in the student center at “Student City” in Tirana, different speakers have addressed this issue, and activities have been organized on weekends in and outside the capital city to assist in the most polluted areas. It is worth mentioning such activities as the National Park of Llogara, the Park of the artificial Lake of Tirana, regions of Mount of Dajti, the Bay of Lalëzi, as well as in other Metropolis of our Church, without forgetting the areas where the annual camps are held.
These activities have enabled the young people to reflect also in everyday life, trying to create an environment less polluted and much more useful for all people.
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Sensitization through brochures
One tool for raising awareness which has had a direct effect to influence environmental protection has also been the brochures that are published and distributed to thousands of people across Albania. The methodsexpressed in these leaflets on how to protect the environment have been quite effective, offering practical ways for citizens to simply keep the environment that surrounds them clean. Through the "Spirit of Love" Foundation, various projects have been implemented in cooperation with other international organizations. These awareness tools have been a necessary contribution especially for specific and isolated communities and remote towns or distant villages in our country.
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Articles and publications in the newspapers
The newspaper "Resurrection", the youth magazine, "The Bells", and the magazine for children, "Rejoice", have occasionally reflected the diverse activities, as well as sensitizations messages about the problems of the environment. Articles by different authors, new poetry and prose have been accompanied also by parts of speeches from different personalities of the Church and other institutions. These articles have influenced many readers and are appreciated for their spirit of creativity and the message about the protection of God’s gift, nature and everything it contains. Articles of this nature are also published periodically in the newspapers as "Our Community", "The word" etc.
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Sensitizationthrough radio waves "Resurrection", FM 88.5
The wisdom of the environmental message is also continually communicated through the air waves on FM 88.5 of the Radio of our Church, "Resurrection”. This powerful media tool is conveying the message and is becoming a partner in the life of the environmental care effort. In this venue you can listen to four programs implemented in collaboration with the students of Theological Academy "Resurrection of Christ" in Saint Vlash of Durrës.