army's political directorate were arrested for allegedly plotting against the party's leaders. All were executed.
In 1975, the chairman of the state planning commission and the minister of industry, as well as the minister of trade, were purged. The following year, the agricultural ministry and the ministry of education were "cleansed" of allegedly antiparty elements. The unspeakable atrocities culminated in "the conspiracy of Mehemet Shehu" in 1982. Shehu, a brutal military and police man, was designated to succeed the ailing dictator. He was, nevertheless, accused of being an agent for Yugoslavia, and, for good measure, of the Soviet Union and the United States. Before he could be arrested, Shehu committed suicide. Subsequently, his wife and other members of his family were arrested and executed. The personnel of three additional ministries and several members of the secret police apparatus were also eliminated.
The fierceness and brutality of the purges were matched only by Stalin's activities in the 1930s and 1940s. It is to be seal if the newly elected government would open the secret files and provide the outside world a glimpse of the murderously dirty world of intrigue and conspiracy that ruled Albanian life under Enver Hoxha.
Amnesty International, Albania: Political Improvement and the Law ( London, 1984); Pipa Arshi , Albanian Stalinism: Ideo-Political Aspects ( Boulder, CO, 1990).
Religious Policies. When Albania was freed of the Italian and German occupational forces, the northern Gegs were mostly Muslim by religion. Twenty percent of the Tosks were Orthodox Christians, and 10 percent of them were Roman Catholics. The Gegs were mostly Sunnites, while the majority of Muslim Tosks were divided between the moderate Sunnites and the Bektashi sect. The Bektashi were the most liberal in their outlook on life and religion in general. While the Gegs were strict observers of Islamic law, the Tosks were less religiously inclined. The Roman Catholic clergy were educated in the European ways. The attraction of religion in general was weaker in the south than in the north.
Between 1948 and 1953, the state exerted increasing control over religious institutions. The Muslims were brought under control first by the appointment of Hafiz Musa Haxhi Ali, a procommunist clergyman, as head of all non-Bektashi Muslims. Mustafa Faja Martoneshi, a wartime communist leader, was then appointed to lead the Bektashi.
In 1947, Faja was assassinated and another communist, Ahmed Myfta Dade, took his place. The communist state actively discouraged all religious activities. Consequently, attendance at religious services declined and mosques were closed; many of them were razed to the ground. In 1949, the Orthodox Christian archbishop, Kristofer Kisi, an opponent of communism, was removed from his see.
In the 1950s, his successor strengthened his church's connections with the patriarchate of Moscow and made his church a tool of the communist government The Roman Catholic church was severely perseated during the entire communist era. In