Macedonia

Geography

The Republic of Macedonia is a landlocked state surrounded by Serbia/Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania. It is about the size of Vermont. The populations is 2 million people.

Peoples

65% of the people are Slavic and 25% are Albanian. The literacy rate is 96%. The official language is Macedonian. There are 10 languages spoken in Macedonia; 3 of which have the entire Bible translated to, 3 have the New Testament, and 4 have portions of the Scripture translated.

Economy

Average annual income is $4,657 per person, per year. Which is 10% of the USA average.

Politics

Macedonia, having been contested throughout history by many powers, still endures claims by neighboring powers. It has a multiparty democracy. Macedonia has endured some tensions due to the unrest associated with the Albanian population of the region (in Albania, Kosovo, etc.) But the most notable political issue is Macedonia’s candidacy for the EU and NATO. In both cases, Greece holds veto power and blocks Macedonia from joining over its insistence on using the name “Republic of Macedonia.” Greece resents the use of such term due to possible territorial aspirations for a Greater Macedonia which would encompass the part of of Greece also named Macedonia as well as parts of several other countries in the region.

Religion

The dominant Macedonian Orthodox Church actually emerged from the Serbian Orthodox Church, and tensions persist over the issue. Although there is some discrimination against newer religious groups (in particular, regarding building permits), the religious communities are leading the way in the area of reconciliation and dialogue. The most recent religion law was passed mostly in order to prevent the Serbian Orthodox Church from gaining legal status.

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